The Ed-Media Conference in Freiburg

[appeared in Kyouiku Katei Shinbun August 1998]

Ed-Media ( is one of the big international conferences in the field of educational technology. It is run by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), which also has an Asia-Pacific Chapter ( that organizes the ICCE conference.
Other AACE conferences include WebNet and SITE (Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education).

This year's Ed-Media/Ed-Telecom was held between June 20 and 25 in Freiburg in the Southwest of Germany with about 900 registered participants. Many of them came from Europe and North America, but also from remote countries like Japan or Australia.
The conference was organized in 10 parallel tracks, so everybody was busy choosing interesting sessions. The proceedings consist of two big volumes of 2000 pages alltogether resp. a 43 MB pdf file. This means a considerable information overload already in this single conference.

Most of the presentations were made by university researchers, but you could also meet school teachers, people from private companies' research and training centers, content publishing businesses or government institutions. In the breaks between sessions and during the social events participants had the chance to discuss and exchange their experience with teaching and evaluation methods, project organisation and funding, recommendable tools and literature etc.

From the 50 major topic areas proposed some of the following attracted particular attention: authoring tools for multimedia material, architectures for teaching and learning systems, issues of evaluation, networked, interactive, cooperative or collaborative learning environments, pedagogical issues like teaching and learning strategies and special fields like language learning.

A general difficulty with this conference is the fact that the area of educational technology is very broad. And often the more technical oriented people dealing with systems and implementations on the one hand and people from the pedagogical side on the other hand are having difficulties communicating. But this also shows the need for conferences like Ed-Media that bring different people together.

For next year's Ed-Media in Seattle the number of proposed topics has been reduced, so perhaps discussions could become a little bit more focused. It's still going to be quite expensive, after all conference organization is a business of its own - even in the field of education. But if you would like to submit a paper, the deadline is October 22. See you in Seattle in June 1999?

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Irene Langner,,
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Last modified: 1999-10-20