Saturday, April 19, 2008

educamp 2008 in Ilmenau

NEW: The video recording from the first day podium discussion of educamp 2008 is now available via

Today, we are visiting educamp 2008 in Ilmenau (April 18-20, 2008) on behalf of FSU Jena and Educam 2008 is organized as barcamp, i.e. it is almost unorganized. But, with more than 150 visitors the e-learning focus of the 'unconference' obviously has attracted a lot of people.
The day started with a short introduction of everybody with 'name + 3 tags', which really is not so simple. Just try to focus your interests in 3 tags, where at least one tag is reserved for your affiliation, one for your profession, and the last tag for your interests. Oh, but wait. The day did not really start because of a lack of coffee (which is essential for any kind of scientific working...).

For yovisto, we have managed to organize a session in the afternoon (1.30pm, 'Geistesblitz'). Therefore, we have some time for visiting other sessions, connecting to people, and public relations for yovisto... ;-).

ok. 1.30 pm. Our session is streamed live into the internet. You may find the live-stream at mogulus. From my point of view our presentation went very well. We had a lot of interesting questions including comments and advice how to improve the services of yovisto.

Unfortunately, we are a little bit too late for the upcoming session 'slidestar'. Concerning content and targets, slidestar for sure is one of our competitors. They offer an entire framework for authoring, recording, and searching lecture presentations....but only in a proprietary manner. One of the problems of slidestar seems to be the accessibility of slidestar-presentations for search-engines. slidestar is a flash-based application and therefore, linking and indexing the content is not possible for search engines like google. Anyway, they have won the 'Deutscher Bildungspreis 2008'...

Now, we are following a session on 'Exzellenz & Kompetenz' for universities and lecturers given by two speakers from One of the questions being discussed is the motivation for students, which university to choose. Based on the experience of the participants, regional factors seem to be rather important, i.e. students are chosing a university near their hometown or where their friends are. Thus, is 'excellency' really the main criterion for choosing where to study...?

All in all, I really like those barcamp conferences. The athmosphere is much more liberal compared to 'hardcore' scientific conferences, because there is no strict line between gurus, experts, nobel price winners, and new commers. There's discussion everywhere and a lot of new ideas do come up. It's all about networking....and I guess also the 'hardcode' scientific conferences can learn from barcamp.
At least, there have been no conference fees. Everything (lunch, dinner, refreshments, etc.) was for free, thanks to the sponsors. I'm looking forward to my next barcamp, which will be bibcamp in Potsdam/Berlin on May, 17-18, 2008. Hope to see you there!