29 degree and the sun is shining: The weather in Valencia is great! Around 400 delegates from all over the world (14% from outside Europe) are meeting under these "holiday-conditions" to discuss in the next days where education is heading to.
One big topic seems to be Open Educational Resources (OER). The Open University UK has sent a big delegation to Valencia, from keynote speakers like Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor to session chairs. This morning, I have been in a workshop about Open Educational Practices and the room was crowded of people (around 30). Even, the organizers need to provide a new table for the extending group. Involved in the OPAL project are beside OUUK, UNESCO, ICDE, EFQUEL and many others. (www.oer-quality.org)
Related to open access to education is the access to the internet of the conference facilities. Some of the conference delegates have struggled a bit to get their connection running if they are using WindowsXP or Windows Vista. The reason is the rather strict security controls of the Universitat Politecnica di Valencia – let’s see the advantage of it: Your data will be safe! For those who are still wondering how to get access to the internet, just a small hint: When you are connected with the UPVNET, you need to create a new connection and select “VPN”. The address of the VPN server is “vpn.upv.es” – finally you can register with your data using “DELEGXXX” as username (XXX is your personal number).
Two very nice “innovations” in this year, I would like to emphasize: The first name on the conference badge is written bigger than the second one, because the conference delegates are simply call each other only with the first name. Secondly, the live stream of the plenary sessions this morning was very successful! Although I have been in the plenary just 5 meter in front of the speaker, I logged in the live stream and saw the enormous amount of followers. In particular in Twitter the live stream was posted several times. Great!