5. FEP/IPA/EPF meeting in Milan

An IPA meeting took place in Milan on November 21st and 22nd. The minutes have not been published but here are some important points.

On November 21st at the FEP meeting, Anne Bergman gave an update on the copyright situation and how the different countries are implementing the directive that was passed in the spring. More information about the Digital Single Market can be found here.

Enrico Turrin gave an overview about the VAT situation concerning ebooks as compared to printed books in some countries. Since December 2018, the individual governments can lower the VAT to harmonize it with the VAT on books. Island, Norway and Germany have lowered or are about to lower the VAT on ebooks. The FEP is going to provide a list of VAT rates across Europe, but the current list available is from January 2019, so not up-to-date. But if you are curious now, you might want to check this website.

Cristina Mussinelli from the Fondazione Libri Italiani Accessibili gave a talk in English about "Towards an accessible digital publishing eco system." Unfortunately the website is solely in Italian, but as soon as the talk/presentation is available in English, I will put it online. In the meantime, here is a brochure that was distributed and might be of use. It is interesting for educational publishers because in 2022 the European Accessibility Act (EU directive) will be implemented and the application has to be finalized by 2025 - which is only 5 years away!

On November 22nd, after the introductory speeches, Giorgio Riva, CEO of Editrice La Scuola S.p.A. gave an overview bout the Italian market. This presentation will be made available with the minutes of the meeting. After Giorgio, Judi Mesman from the University of Leiden gave an overview of her research into gender an ethnic representation and stereotypes in learning materials. Her findings are quite fascinating and more details are here.

We are still waiting for another presentation by Paul Grist, Head of Education Sales, International at AWS (Amazon Web Services). He explained how Amazon works in small agile teams, how AWS can support educational publishers and how AWS is involved in trends in teaching and learning, namely data and personalization, voice technology, virtual and augmented reality as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Amazon machine learning provides the basis for personalized recommendations as well as automation and inventory management.

The IPA has set up an "Ethics of Learning Analytics" task group which has just taken up work and will report at the next IPA meeting in Tiblisi on February 14th.

Another important date is the education day at the IPA Congress in Lillehammer, 29th May 2020. Please note that the early bird rate only applies to December 31st. You can find the program here as well as recommendations for hotels etc. Getting to Lillehammer is not that easy, but the program looks interesting.