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June 2016

EEPG Newsletter


Invitation to an EEPG Conference in Berlin, 15.-16. September 2016

Dear colleague,

The EEPG would like to invite you to conference that is open to publishers and associates that aren't members of the EEPG.

The title of the conference is:
New Trends in Pedagogy: Student-centered learning and the new role of the teacher - What are the key factors for better learning? How can technology support teaching and learning?

The conference is hosted by the German educational publisher Cornelsen Schulverlage and will take place at their premises in Berlin.

You will find the full programme here.

You can register directly on the website. Please note that the early bird rate applies until July 15th. The fee includes a conference dinner. A choice of hotels with special rates for participants will be published at the end of July. If you have further question or would like more info, please contact

Helga.holtkamp@eepg.org.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues that might be interested in these topics.

Here are the abstracts of the three keynote speakers.

Keynote I

Video in Education
Stephen Haggard

In this keynote, Stephen Haggard draws on over a decade of experience in innovating scaled education operations using video. His record ranges from the Executive role at the UK's pioneer video learning brand (BBC Learning and the BBC-Open University learning partnership, 2001-2006) to his current role through Digital Learning Associates as co-architect of ITN Edu, an Education-facing business of authentic video sales to education publishers from the world's largest commercial video asset library. As author of the UK Government's MOOC policy review (2013), which preceded the establishment of FutureLearn, the Open University-owned MOOC platform, he has shaped and subsequently participated in the boom of publishing online video courses to millions of MOOC learners. He is Chairman of Eneza Education, a tech company which commercially publishes micro-courses by mobile phone to 1mn school-age learners across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Education publishers can embrace video either as a technical fix inside their existing business (similar to, say, aligning to common core standards, or content rental through Chegg) or as a totally new class of operation - with disruptive digital potential (like MOOCs or OER or Amazon) - requiring a reworking of business models and workflows.

Video typically offers pedagogic benefits (such as engagement, impact, transversal learning) but for a price (technical and device demands, high authoring cost, and low discoverability). Now technology has shifted the pain/gain balance decisively in favour of video as far as consumers are concerned, serving them a glut of useful educational video content at "free" pricing from Khan Academy, countless YouTube schools, and MOOCs. For a conventional publishing model based on acquiring and exploiting rights, this spells disaster.

Education publishers can nevertheless engage on video and win. Stephen says astute creative, commercial and technology strategies use video products to capture market and revenue - not just from other publishers, but also in new product categories including instruction, assessment, certification. As moving imagery per se becomes ubiquitous, there is a premium on video with authenticity, precise targeting or educational scaffolding.

Stephen presents insights from three education video sales businesses, based on his direct experience in current commercial ventures. These are: a start-up publisher of corporate education content, Proversity; an established publisher of professional certified content, Udacity; and the K-12 & ELT verticals of a giant publisher, Pearson. In different ways each is innovating the publisher model. One has abolished the cost premium in video authoring, the second is using video to move up the value chain to secure premium sales, while the third is deploying authentic video as a competitive strategy to redefine the category.

As advanced technologies for knowledge curation make video increasingly simple to manage and exploit, and hybrid screen forms emerge such as authentic video characters driven by chatbot algorithms, the medium of video will offer publishers ever more opportunities to innovate and to capture fresh market. The technical and commercial gradient is steep - but for those who can climb it, video looks set to become more of a revolutionary game-changer in the future - and less of an adaptation to normal business.


Keynote II

English Language Teaching
Rick Shepherd

Today, almost all ELT curricula are based on prescriptive grammar - they are largely unrelated to native use and often lead to the teaching of unnatural language patterns. They follow a sequence which is based on tradition and is more often than not unmotivating in practice for many students. At the same time, syllabi that claim to be competence based are often warped so that they confirm to traditional syllabi - just under a different name.

So why are these curricula and the materials so popular? Quite simply they are well suited to most education systems where materials have to be approved by ministries of education and can only be sold with an approval stamp. However, even in countries where this is not the case, they seem to make life for teachers easier and remove the need for publishers to investigate alternative models and paradigms of language teaching and publishing.

In moving to digital, publishers have mostly simply substituted paper for the screen and moved only to the Substitution, or in the best cases, the Augmentation stage of the SAMR model. Modification, and Redefinition have not yet happened.

Assessment needs to be student-centred, diverse and focused on persistent transfer and less on 'testing'. 'Individualization in the classroom' is one of the buzz words of the decade and in this talk Rick will look at ways of promoting innovation, risk-taking, self-awareness, and the development of thinking patterns through task based and project based learning.

The growth of OERs and the financial woes of recent times are putting in danger an ELT publishing model based on 'frozen' digital content, let alone print. In order to combat this, publishers need to think in terms of an offer which is dynamic rather than static, adaptive and modular. Materials need to incorporate a constant stream of input from a wide variety of sources and forms. Digital ELT materials should enable and promote the use of HOTS (higher order thinking skills) in a more real life environment using media-rich presentation.

Genuine TBL or PBL-based methodology is unpredictable in its content needs - we have no way of knowing what a given class, teacher or student may wish to access at any time.

'On the fly' or 'Just in time' rolling publishing, based more on a press and less on a book model offers an answer to almost all of the problems outlined above. The ELT author, editor and designer should be working with a multimedia CMS to be able to move to material that is 'always being edited' and avoids the dishonest practice purporting to produce 'motivating material' when what we are really doing is producing material that, because we are producing a 'one size fits all' course, is too often bland and boring.

In his talk, Rick will be looking at the short and long term effects on both content curation and human resources at the publishing house as well as the effects on teaching and learning.
This change is initially chaotic - although the present determines the future the approximate present does not approximately determine the future - because we can never know all the initial conditions of a complex system in perfect detail. We cannot precisely predict developments, but being ready to move is essential.


Keynote III

More Leadership - Less Management
Arja Holmsted Svensson

What is change leadership? Arja Holmstedt Svensson sees change as a natural part of an organization's development that is continuously in progress. The leader's task is to identify existing processes and verbalize them, and explain how the parts fit together with the big picture. Arja sees herself as a pathfinder and dialogue creator. It is important to get everyone involved in the ongoing change process.

All change is met with resistance in some stage of the process. The leader has to be competent to change strategic plans taking into consideration both issues and feelings, thereby leading the operations towards established goals.

Change involves many people and complex organizations. From experience, Arja knows that work requires perseverance and patience, because every meeting and every discussion is important to the whole and the final outcome!

The project: One-to-One Falkenberg, a computer for every student for elementary school - grades 6-9 and high school.

To be a leader in a process of change requires a clear direction, a strong conviction and an ability to enthuse. Arja was administrative manager and head of education in the Falkenberg municipality and instrumental in the implementation of one computer for each student from 2007 onwards. This was Sweden's first municipal investment on such a large scale.

In this talk Arja will outline the mission, the challenges, the successes and the set backs. We follow the project from vision to reality, from start-up to implementation. We follow the work of teachers and principals - and politicians. During the first six years, the investment also included computer scientists to both strengthen the ongoing work in schools and give support to the lead in this pioneer undertaking. The whole project was monitored, studied and assessed by researchers, and Arja will also outline their findings and explain the conclusions. The concrete examples from Falkenberg Municipality will be complemented by theories on change and leadership.

Arja's mission
Last autumn Arja started her own business and now works with many different municipal authorities and regional organizations. She supports and challenges those organizations in the development processes in the digitization of education. She was a speaker at Apple EMEIA Education Leadership Summit and gave a talk on Visionary Leadership. Her book Digital school - Leading Change has just been published in Sweden.






EEPG
Wielandstr. 33, 10629 Berlin / Germany
Phone: +49 171 275 63 23
E-Mail: helga.holtkamp@eepg.org