Last month I attended the Didacta education fair in Hannover, Germany.
I knew it was a big event, but I had underestimated just how big.
It was MASSIVE.
Five cavernous halls – each larger than several football fields – promoted the full gamut of the education sector: child care, primary school, high school, further education, workplace training and accreditation.
Each hall hosted stalls, exhibitions and lectures, and every square metre was crawling with people. It reminded me of the showbag pavilion at the Royal Easter Show on Children’s Day.
My primary purpose for attending Didacta was to gain an insight into the practice of e-learning in Germany, and to compare it to that in my own country, Australia.
E-Learning was a focus topic of the fair this year (hence my presence), so I made a beeline to the “eLearning Joint Stand”.
I can report that the state of e-learning in both countries appears to be very similar.
• Online course development
• Online training delivery
• Learning Management Systems
• Interactive whiteboards
• 3D animation
• Immersive virtual environments
One of the big differences I noticed, though, was a general lack of mobile. Train By Cell was the only vendor on the floor, and they’re American!
Anyway, I’m glad I visited Didacta, if only to validate that we Aussies are cooking along all right.
I recommend the fair for educational professionals, but I advise that a little bit of German helps a lot. Although most of the delegates speak English, the lectures, take-aways and simple things like signage are not bilingual.
I can’t compare Didacta to Online Educa because I’ve never been.
Maybe next year!