In my workblog I have told that I gave a presentation at roundtable session of EUN’s yearly event in Bruges 7th of December. The subject was “the Way Ahead for Interoperability for Education in Europe”. And to be frank, there is no clear way ahead. We have to be careful so that we do not lock e-learning to a specific technology. I am not sure that the right learning theories have been modeled in the few e-learning standards we have; and I think there is a lot to be done to bridge the gap between the needs of the teachers and learners and the technologists designing the specifications and the tools.
However, my concern today is how we convey this understanding of the current situations to the bureaucrats in our Educational Authorities. I spoke to one representative after the session, and the person said: I have heard everything before. You have nothing new to say. You are all confused. You still cannot tell me what to tell the content providers when we commission learning content to our schools.
I despair. How do we explain that there is a middle ground between doing nothing, leaving the scene to the vendors and content providers, and taking an active role in leveling the field for learning technologies that serve the end-users? I often wonder what is it that makes it so easy to say there is nothing new, we heard everything before. Lack of effort to learn? Embarrassment of the excessive use of acronyms? No, I think there is something else here that is a big challenge to the technologist among us: The inability to speak across communities of practice. We have not come up with the language and the conversational tools to have a informed discussion across professions on what should be the best way forward for the development of learning technologies.