Media and Learning 2011

Several topics have been chosen for the conference reflecting some of the issues and challenges faced by those working to promote the effective use of media in learning. Get an overview of the latest comments and join the discussion!


I agree with Sven. It is very difficult to develop educational games which the students like to play in their leisure time and learn a lot. This because they are spoiled by action games like egoshooter...
We made admissions to that in our second multi user online game "The merchant of Venice". They have to defense pirates and learn accounting - its like to walk a tightrope.
Another problem is to earn money developing educational games. It depends also from the medium. I think it might be easier if you sell it on a DVD. There you have the problem to make it well known and you have to invest a lot in marketing.
Our games are online games - available in the internet only. We integrated them in our platform for training of accounting ( Everybody can use this system for one week free. After this trial period the students pay only about € 8 for one semester.
But what they are doing is to regiter again using another short term email. I think they are used that everything in the internet must be free!
We are glad that the are using our platform - but we are forced to invest a lot in hardware and internet to enable the game with a good perfomance, because our games are very complicated and need a very strong database.
I think I will try to make my platform free and to look for sponsors. But I assume this way will also be not easy.

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Greet Decin

A short introduction: I'm working at the department of teacher education at the Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven (Belgium). More specific I'm teaching maths, ICT and multimedia to student-teachers who wants to work in preschool (2.5 - 6 years old).
One of our research topics is "Multimedia in preschool: an additional opportunity towards equal opportunities in education". The objectives of this practice-based project are fourfold. Firstly, it investigates how multimedia literacy of preschool children (3 to 5 year olds) can be stimulated. Secondly, it aims at understanding the influence of multimedia literacy on their world exploration. Thirdly, the potential of multimedia to support the children’s personal development is assessed, with particular emphasis on young children with extra needs. Finally, the project aims to reduce the technological fear experienced by preschool teachers, as well as students and lecturers in preschool teacher education, through increasing their understanding of multimedia literacy. In accordance to Bottelberghs (2010), the project doesn’t focus on the technology of audiovisual materials, but rather on the creative processes and the development of talents achievable by using a multimedia setting. During an initial test phase of several weeks, more multimedia rich activities were offered to a group of children with different needs. Even though the children are quite young, they are very handy and careful with these materials. Some children with extra needs do well in exploring these materials. Some children exhibit a high level of wellbeing, involvement, initiative, creativity, language skills and artistic expressivity. The research isn't finished yet, but already illustrates the necessity for different means in the classroom in order to offer each child a proper way to express himself. Also the digital gap is contested from the beginning.
The question Jan arose above about the costs of these materials also arises in these research: how can we offer these young kids the materials they need to develop in a proper way so they find a way to express themselves, to show who they are

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Tom Wambeke

@Lucas . Thanks for the concrete examples you are sharing with us. Also interesting the question that we will need new ways to search relevant channels, especially if the channels are duplicating in a very fast way. We will need to find new aggregators to aggregate the old aggregators :) Will keep us busy again for a while.
@Allen. Thanks for saying a substantial hi . The vast change you are mentioning is for most of us nothing new and been happening in the last ten years. Maybe is just accelerating (on technological, cultural, mental levels). What is interesting and really changing I think is the response to the vast change. Initially there was quite a lot of resistance (the eternal wikipedia-brittanica debates) and a lot of the leading so called quality institutions had fundamental questions with the shift towards these new digital literacies. I really got impressed when Universities as Stanford opened up their closed barriers and launched the Massive Online Open Courses such as . Is this going to lead to less quality? or is it just opening new opportunities?
Thanks also for mentioning the Khan Academy. I am quite surprised about the amount of educational video's with good quality that are actually available on the web nowadays, either institutionally produced or crowdsourced .. gathered some more examples here >

I would say the discussion is now officially opened. Throughout all our discussions I will extract the most relevant questions that we can elaborate more in depth in the discussion in Brussels. So feel free to shoot additional questions, comments, feedback, thoughts and a lot of reflections.

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Carlos Barrios

Thanks very much everyone for your inputs and for keeping the discussion in such a high level. You may continue it during the following weeks here online. And Merry Christmas!

Herewith a summary of the debate held on Friday 25th November at the event:

After an introduction of the panelists and matters for debate, Joe Cullen outlined how it is premature to think of a real shift from a literacy to a media culture. He stated that ‘e-inclusion' is a premature notion, as 40% of EU citizens do not have access to ICTs. He talked about the ‘quality of use’, where evidence (Institute for Prospective Technological Research, IPTS) shows considerable variation in digital literacy and how many ‘at risk’, ‘excluded’ people –particularly young– remain ‘technologically barren’. He highlighted how ICTs combine with structural dynamics of social exclusion to create a ‘dual exclusion’ for many young people, leading to the ‘New Milennium learners’ (NML’s), those born after 1980, and to the idea that they, born and growing up in a ‘media rich’ environment, acquired different cognitive skills, and cognitive ‘hard-wiring’, than those born before. Yet, he continued, there is no hard evidence that this is the case. Although the examples of innovative learning approaches using Web 2.0 and multi-media to deliver new forms of learning, there are other initiatives (‘Notschool’) achieving good results with low-tech learning solutions. But initiatives delivering ‘media literacy’ are small-scale experiments. What is lacking, he finalised, is a broader ‘societal learning’ approach that addresses the big problems the EU faces on jobs, sustainability, poverty and climate change.

Yvonne Crotty focused on the set of fundamental values that drives our actions when we teach, highlighting these values as a major and often forgotten factor of change in educational technology. She showed some of the activities and projects developed at Dublin City University, and featured at the Diverse International Conference.

Nikos Theodosakis suggested that students' excitement in creating digital media invites educators to consider wrapping the learning and curriculum outcomes within a creative media project. He further suggested that the process of creating media in teams, and the experiences of bringing intangible ideas to life, held potential for the development of skills that could be utilized by students both in and out of school.

Nikitas Kastis talked about the transformation taking place in informal learning settings such and within educational systems. He stressed out the importance of fostering the capacity learn and to be creative in the context of the current unemployment crisis.

Andy Jones focused on several ideas, arguing that how we learn hasn’t really changed, the tools we used have changed though. The culture, he stated, hasn’t really moved on either, there is still a consumption of different kinds of media available. He said that outcomes and employability are not built into many programs, and that in fact there’s a big disconnect between the end of a program and the start of a job. Last, he denounced the chasm between academia and the business world: "do not say 'pedagogy' to a business person, or ‘Sensemaking’, or ‘crowdsourcing’... they need to understand that you/we are on the same page with the same desires to make a difference".

The audience contributed very actively not only with questions to the panelists but also by sharing their ideas and approaches regarding how technological change in education can be used to address the current issues that citizens are living, at the core of the largest financial, economical, political and social crisis in decades.

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Grainne Conole


I think it is about harnessing the affordances of social and participatory media to augment and enhance. It is not about using any one particular platform, more about working across different media and aggregating discussions in a meaningful way

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24 - 25 November 2011 Flemish Ministry of Education Headquarters, Brussels
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