OEB Global 2018
Europe’s biggest conference on technology-assisted learning, OEB Global, opened in Berlin this week and more than 2,500 participants from over 70 countries took part in an event which organisers claim “is mapping the future of learning.”
Astrid Jaeger, the Director of OEB Global, which now includes Learning Technologies Germany, said today (Friday):
“We’ve had three days of gazing into the future. It’s been really fascinating. We had a great opening session with Geoff Mulgan, Bryan Caplan and Anita Scholl Brede. We’ve brought people from all over the world to Berlin to look at how education and training are being changed by technology and at how technology is changing the world. These changes are already having an enormous effect and the pace of change is going to continue to quicken.
“The way we live our lives, the way we work and the way we learn are all changing. At OEB Global, which has established itself as Europe’s leading conference in this sector, we’ve had experts in all sorts of disciplines looking at what is going to happen in the home, the classroom and the workplace. The consensus is that the future is very different and it is already here.”
One trend that was evident at OEB Global was the growth of artificial intelligence (AI). With presentations on the subject by speakers from universities and technology companies as far afield as Texas and China, it was clear that the role of AI in learning and training is set to increase.
“There is no doubt that AI is going to play a huge part in education in the future,” says Jaeger. “Learning will become much more focussed and intense. In a world in which machines increasingly replace human beings in many industries, AI will also be a major part of new learning opportunities.”
Not everyone is looking to the future with confidence, though.
“There are big opportunities ahead but, at the moment, there’s a lot of anxiety too,” said one participant. “People are worried about the future. They don’t like uncertainty and, whilst they can get a better view of what’s coming here at OEB, there’s still a lot of concern about some issues, such as cyber security, fake news and the misuse of data.”
Elliott Masie, Head of the Masie Center in the USA found it reassuring that, in addition to the discussions about the big issues, such as AI, there was also a focus at OEB on “fixing the little things.”
“I thought it was very noticeable that there were lots of presentations and exhibitions on things like plagiarism and improving the use of video in presentations,” he said. “OEB is not just about the big vision of the future. It’s also about the practicalities of the present.”
Ms Jaeger concedes that there are anxieties but remains confident about the future:
“Overall, people are very positive and excited about the change that is already happening. They can see the potential for real improvements in the future. Participants at OEB tend to be people who believe that technology can solve problems. That’s why they’re here. They’re innovators and solutions providers, as well as educators. OEB is all about seeing change and adapting to it.”
The OEB Global conference, which took place at the Hotel Intercontinental in Berlin from 5 - 7 December, was accompanied by an exhibition of products, services and solutuions.
“With 111 exhibitors, the exhibition was bigger than ever this year and it was full of companies and organisations offering all sorts of imaginative new products. You can get a view of the future just by going round the stalls!”
For more information about OEB Global, please contact Astrid Jaeger
Tel.: +49 (0)30 726 213 309
Note for editors
OEB 2018 incorporating Learning Technologies Germany is the 24th global cross-sector conference and exhibition on technology-supported learning and training.
A unique, cross-sector focus, fostering exchange between the corporate, education and public service sectors
2,500+ international learning professionals from over 70 countries and across all sectors – education and research, business, government and the public sector
111 exhibitors, ranging from established global learning and technology market leaders to emerging edtech start-ups
120 sessions in various formats: hands-on workshops, plenaries, interactive breakout sessions, discussions and debates, labs, demos and performances
The event is taking place at Berlin’s Hotel Intercontinental from December 5 – 7, 2018.
Gold Sponsors: AULA, AVIXA, Gutenberg Technology, Squirrel AI Learning
Silver Sponsors: Area9, D2L, Panopto, Proctorio, Questionmark
Conference Sponsors: Arcadia, Cambridge Assessment English, its Learning, Mediasite - Sonic Foundry, NEO, Presentations 2Go, Speexx
Conference Partner: EFMD - Global Network
Learning Technologies Germany Sponsors: Absorb LMS, Babbel, GoodHabitz, Litmos, PeopleFluent, SiyonaTech, SumTotal and Totara