M&L24 – Check out this year’s packed conference programme

The programme for this year’s Media & Learning conference taking place on 20-21 June in Leuven, Belgium is now online, and apart from some final adjustments and additions, provides the visitor with a full description of what this year’s conference has to offer. The official conference programme begins with a plenary session on 20 June which takes up the challenges inherent in this year’s theme, in what direction are we headed? is a return to more traditional approaches and use of media on the cards or are we moving towards a much more innovative approach to how learning is packaged and delivered with all that advances in AI and Immersion Technologies have to offer…. Back to the Future?

We are delighted to welcome three top-class speakers to get the conversation going. Piet Desmet, Vice-Rector of KU Leuven, is in an excellent position to guide our thinking and, in his talk, Going digital. Staying human, he will explore some of the EdTech challenges faced by KU Leuven. Amanda Murphy from Storyfutures in the UK is passionate about storytelling and will share her insights on learning through immersive storytelling. Maarten Lamers from Leiden University will talk about the why and how of machine learning AI, and what it generally can and cannot do. Our plenary session on the second day will feature talks by Lizzy Bleumers, Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Gary Burnett, Loughborough University and Maya Georgieva, The New School, USA in which they will focus in on the pros and cons of new and innovative technologies, which will no doubt inspire lots of discussions and debate in the sessions to follow.

The conference boasts a full agenda packed with presentation sessions, workshops, demos and discussion opportunities as well as plenty of informal opportunities to meet, discuss ideas and share experiences. The presentation track covers many of the conference themes directly. Our session on enhancing the educational media skills of teaching staff will include talks by Mary Godfrey, Harvard University and Gabriel Jones, University of Leeds while the one on getting started with 360° video features inputs from Chahira Nouira, University of Gőttingen and Jeroen Bottema, Inholland University of Applied Sciences. These talks will also cover the topic of rethinking spaces and approaches in higher education with inputs from Jan Petrus Bosman, Stellenbosch University and An Verburgh, UCLL, Belgium. We also plan on zooming in on the educational value of immersion technologies with designers and practitioners including Linde Voorend, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Yiannis Georgiou, Cyprus University of Technology.

Our programme also includes 13 workshops, all set up with practice in mind and where participation is limited. Here is a just a small selection of some of the workshops planned, AI-driven Multisource Immersive Educational Video Generation led by Serge de Beer, Learning Tour, Once upon a time – the power of storytelling in instructional design led by Stef Stes & Elke Van Ael, KU Leuven and VR EduCraft: Crafting Lesson Plans for Immersive Learning Experiences led by Ahmed Yousef, East Stroudsburg University, USA. These workshops will be popular, so register for the conference now to give yourself the best chance in booking the ones you want to attend.

On top of the presentations and workshops, we are also including several showcase sessions highlighting excellent examples of educational media. At the heart of these sessions will be the showcases of the finalists in this year’s MEDEA Awards, featuring the 8 finalists coming from all over Europe as well as Australia. The winners of this year’s competition will be announced at our public awards ceremony taking place in Leuven’s historic City Hall on Thursday evening, 20 June.

Discussion and networking sessions are also core to what our annual conference is all about. Several of these will hone in on technical subjects like the Future of IP in education – the role of standards, experiences and perspectives and Delivering virtual visits live while others will cover topics like Collaboration in our sector supported by EU funding and the relationship between higher education and continuing professional development when it comes to educational media.

The conference is also accompanied by a full exhibition and we will have dedicated tech and showcase sessions led by our sponsors, giving them the opportunity to highlight new developments and tools of primary interest to our participants. Many thanks for their support to this year’s sponsors and exhibitors who are: Biamp, UbiCast, Panopto, Panasonic, X2O Media, Enghouse Video, AMX+TrackingMaster, Extron and WebClip2Go.

As well as this packed programme on 20-21 June, there are also two optional half day workshops on 19 June for anyone registered for the conference who would like to come to Leuven a little earlier. The first of these taking place in the morning, is entitled Unlocking engagement: exploring social presence and telepresence in online learning and is all about improving online social learning experiences through social presence and telepresence. The second in the afternoon, Navigating educational multimedia: strategies for success is a hands-on session on approaches to multimedia production in Higher Education.  Check out the conference site for more info on these two workshops.

Visit our conference website for everything you need to know and register now for Media & Learning 2024.

Looking forward to seeing you in Leuven where a warm welcome waits for everyone coming to our conference this year from everyone involved in our organising and advisory committees.

– The organising committee of Media & Learning 2024 – Back to the Future?