Due to two recent business trips, the first to pretty Luxembourg, the latter to swinging London, this blog remained a little silent in the past couple of days, at least more silent than you are used to.
So with the new week just started, let me give you a roundup of why I was traveling and what has happened in both the educational as well as the business sense.
Here is the chronology of the events: on October 1st I had the pleasure of being invited by the Université du Luxembourg for a panel discussion on Language Learning and web 2.0. The constellation of the panel was interesting as we all had different backgrounds starting with Professor Marie-Noëlle Lamy researching in distance language learning at the Open University, UK, Regine Haschker-Hellmer representing for profit education with her language learning community Palabea.net and myself joining this discussion with my take on the market from the perspective of the independent edu blogger and interviewer. Our panel was moderated by Deutsche Welle and the aim was to find out if web 2.0 in language learning was just to be seen as the lastest hype or if there is actually something in it for both the educators as well as the learners.
I admit, all three panelists work in this field using the different tools every day, so it did not produce the big controversy amongst us but I reckon this was not really expected to happen by our hosts of the Université du Luxembourg.
However, each of us had her own take on the question as our backgrounds would naturally indicate. I personally enjoyed the experience and exchange with the academic body and think pushing this emerging field forward can only fruitful on a larger scale when creativity and innovation of the open market will mingle with proven data and profound research provided by academia and work together.
Clearly, the for profits in education can allow themselves to sometimes just try the one or the other thing and see what happens although I am missing the publication of reliable data beyond mere user numbers whereas academia is missing some flexibility but could actually consult the market on how solid courses could be developed and how representative data could be derived.
Although busily discussing and engaging with the audience, I still managed to see some familiar names in the Elluminate chat, however, I will put the link to the recording up once again for those of you not having had the chance to join the debate live nor the recorded version yet.
Beyond the panel discussion, I must say experiencing multilingualism that actually seems to work without much difficulty in Luxembourg was both fascinating and enriching on a personal level having been a first time visitor to this little country.
Therefore, here a couple of pictures of our dinners illustrating multilingualism. I remember the conversations took place in French, English and German sometimes all in one sentence!
Traveling to London though was an all business dedicated trip and I will cover these impressions in a second post to be published very shortly.