International Keynote

Carl Holmberg

"Where are we heading? New Perspectives and Distance Education"

by Carl Holmberg, Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)


Thursday, 12 November 2009, 11h30 - 12h30

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The International Council for Open and Distance Education undertook 2008 a global scan of the state of distance learning.  What it found was not surprising – but some key concerns did emerge amongst the incredible revolution of the past decade and that is now informing our strategic plan:


  • While technology is key to the new learning – do we yet know what its cultural impact will be?  Is technological globalization threatening cultural homogenization?
  • A number of institutions in the Northern hemisphere, lead by MIT and the Open University,UK have made a considerable amount of the course content freely available on the internet.  This is laudable – but very few Southern institutions have done so.  Will the OER movement just reinforce the intellectual and cultural hegemony of a few universities?  Will this generosity mean that some universities particularly in the developing world can now under invest in intellectual capital?
  • Flexible education has also meant that institutions are increasingly pressed to take more and more students at a lower per student cost.  Is this sustainable?
  • Flexible learning has also seen a considerable growth in private for profit education.  What does this mean for open learning public institutions?  Can they sustain themselves in the new environment?
  • Emerging new infrastructures for adult learners are embedding eLearning.


National Keynote

Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák

"Interface and Illusion in Interactive Art"

by Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák, Hungarian University of Fine Arts


Friday, 13 November 2009, 11h00 - 12h00

Art teaches us to master our senses and educate our perception to vividly see the the world in a different perspective. Illusions teach us that not all that we see is exactly as it is: modern human-computer interfaces are based on visualizing (interpreting) data in “familiar forms” using metaphors from our well known physical world (folders, buttons, desktops etc.). Interactivity in computing relies on interfaces connecting the physical world with virtual illusions.

The concept of integrated, interactive media has its own long history, an evolution that spans more than 150 years. This has been a largely untold story: discussions of the development of the personal computer and the Internet tend to focus on a few highly successful entrepreneurs, neglecting the less-known work of the engineers and artists who first sought to craft a medium that would mimic and enhance the creative capacities of the human mind.

In my presentation I show some important historical examples of scientific/engineering concepts and artworks augmenting human intellect by revealing new perspectives in computer vision. Besides I point out some contemporary media artworks that hint the future of our everyday human-computer interfaces.

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