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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

H5P conference in Tromso, 11 to 13 September 2017

I was lucky enough to attend this excellent conference, and there's lots to report about, comment on etc. But as it always happens in September, I utterly ran out of time with some things, because the Brookes semester starts and that means ... mmh ... a few other 'priorities'. However, I just found some notes I wrote while hanging around in Tromso Airport, and - just to make a start - I'm going to post them here:

Summary/Conference review

It is Wednesday afternoon, and I’m sitting at Tromso Airport, returning to Oxford after the H5P conference. And what a very special conference it was! It was not so much the content of the conference (and not even the brilliant provision of food, coffee and other drinks throughout …): it was the very positive energy, which created the real buzz. There were more participants than originally expected by the organisers, and they came from all over the world. Everyone seemed curious, wanted to explore H5P, find out more about its future. The H5P team provided the surrounding and atmosphere in which it was a pleasure to work. This does not only apply to the core team, but also to all the ‘newcomers’, who had joined the core team over the past few years, like for example their excellent designer, Jelena.

The atmosphere reminded me of the very early days of learning technology, during which I worked for a German textbook publisher, when eLearning was still a completely new and fresh field to explore. One of the things we did was trying to enthuse teachers to use a brilliant tool to create exercises for language learning, called ADAM & EVE - where ADAM was ‘automated document analysis and manipulation’ and EVE was ‘extensive variety of exercises’. This was in the days of text mode, and the operating system was DOS (just for those who of more advanced age …). The tool had a language database in the background, and based on algorithms was able to generate a variety of language exercises. Needless to say: in those early days it was not well received, sadly. Our ‘clients’ were highly suspicious, and focussed mainly on errors the system produced, rather than appreciating the powerful potential the tool had. Enough of the past, and back to H5P: the future!

H5P has the vision to make interactive content flow freely. The team wants to democratise interactive content in connection with open education by connecting with users, gathering feedback from the community. And that's exactly what they do, and managed to demonstrate very convincingly throughout the conference.

... to be continued ...

Let the exploration begin!