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Just Two Months Away

This year’s ICDE World Conference is just two-months away. The excitement is really building here in Dublin as we add some of the finishing touches to what we hope will be a really engaging and impactful conference programme. Of course, it’s the people that really make a great conference and there will be lots of opportunities for participants from over 50 countries to interact, network and learn from each another. In this respect, the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning is unique for its truly international perspective. Dublin is also a great venue for such a major international event, as you will experience a unique fusion of tradition and technology in one of Europe’s leading centres of digital innovation. Therefore a great experience awaits you in Dublin as you can see from the video below and if you haven’t already done so, then please make sure you register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

Watch the video from this year’s ICDE World Conference Chair for more information.

What's New?

We are pleased to let you know that the 2019 ICDE World Conference will be facilitated by two joint Moderators from Dublin City University (DCU). Professor Mairéad Nic Giollamhichil and Professor Joe O’Hara will share this role during the conference. Mairead is Head of the Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning and Joe is based in DCU’s Institute of Education. Joe is currently President of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) and was previously Head of the School of Education Studies at DCU. The Institute of Education was established in 2016 is Ireland’s only Faculty of Education with more than 125 full-time academic staff and a student body in excess of 4,000. DCU’s St Patrick’s campus, home of the Institute of Education, is also our venue for the pre-conference programme.

We would also like to remind you that in partnership with the OER Foundation we are able to offer a special cohort instance of the micro-course “Open Education, Copyright and Open Licensing in a Digital World”for free to all ICDE World Conference registered participants. This free online course offered by the OERu starts on 7th October 2019. The following website provides more information along with a registration link…
Visit Website
Lastly, we are pleased to share news of a special workplace and corporate learning strand on the final day of the conference, where there will be a dedicated programme for people with an interest in online learning beyond the formal education sector. More information about this interesting strand will be available in the next conference newsletter. And remember there is also a special post-conference event that has been organized in partnership with the US-based Training Magazine, which starts at the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) on Thursday afternoon and continues through until Saturday 9thNovember. Innovations in Training (IIT) Dublin features visits to cutting-edge simulation labs, innovation centres and training sites, along with in-depth conversations and immersive experiences that aims to explore innovative approaches to workplace learning.

Speaker Spotlight

While we have not yet shared news on all of our invited and plenary speakers in this newsletter the conference team is pleased to let you know that Professor George Siemens will give the final plenary talk looking to the future of open, online and distance education. George is well known for this work in the area and is generally regarded as one of the “big picture” thought leaders in terms of new learning futures. 
He has delivered keynote addresses in more than 35 countries and has been challenged with the responsibility to help us shape and reimagine the future of education set against the wider context of the overarching conference theme of “transforming lives and societies”. In 2015, Professor Siemens published with colleagues a major seminal report on the Digital University, which provided a comprehensive review of the literature on the history and current state of distance, blended and online learning. You may like to revisit the findings of this report before the start of the ICDE World Conference. Watch this space for further speaker spotlights as we count down to the ICDE World Conference. 

Why join us in Dublin

While the ICDE World Conference provides a great opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world, with over 30 partner organisations supporting this year’s event, the main reason to join us in Dublin in November is that we have a real opportunity to debate and help shape the future of online education. 
The field is growing rapidly and the emergence of new business and online delivery models is not unproblematic. This year’s conference theme and related big questions endeavours to anchor our discussions in a much wider context, with a strong focus on issues of access, equity and social justice. In this respect, online learning is not just a new and rapidly evolving delivery platform but rather raises much deeper and more fundamental questions about the future of education (formal, non formal and informal) in a digitally connected world – albeit that the world isn’t as connected as we often think. Hence we need you in Dublin to contribute to these important conversations, as to quote Nelson Mandela:
 
Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. 


More to the point, in the words of Paulo Freire, “Education [by itself] does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world”. Therefore we need as many people (educators, researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, institutional leaders, community organisations and industry stakeholders, etc.) as possible in Dublin at the ICDE World Conference to ensure that we address the complex and challenging issues facing us in the future. Set against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), our aim is to harness the collective experience of participants to help us envision better futures for all and build a platform at this truly global event for advancing the conference mission of transforming lives and societies.
 

Taste of Ireland

While the conference programme is anchored in some of the grand challenges mentioned above, with a strong futures focus, a unique Irish cultural experience will also be woven throughout the event. In this respect we hope that delegates will learn a better appreciation of Celtic and Irish culture and more generally the importance of valuing and supporting indigenous heritage, language and culture in today’s increasing globalised world. 

It may be of interest to know that later this year Ireland’s population is expected to grow to 5-million people. It currently stands at 4.9 million. The last time the Irish population was above 5 million was recorded in a census just after the Great Famine in 1851. It had fallen sharply from 6.5 million a decade earlier due to mass starvation and emigration. This is one of the reasons why you can usually find an Irish pub in just about every large city around the world. If you want to learn more about the Great Famine and the impact of the Irish on the world, then we highly recommend that you visit the EPIC museum only a few hundred metres from the conference venue during your stay in Dublin.

In 2019, the Irish Emigration Museum, known as EPIC, was voted as Europe’s leading tourist attraction, and will help you discover what it means to be Irish expands far beyond the borders of Ireland through the stories of emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets, artists and even outlaws all over the world. EPIC is not a traditional museum as it brings Irish history to life through a rich digital experience. 

 

We would like to introduce you to “Cara” our official ICDE World Conference emoji. For those of you not familiar with the term “emoji” this refers to an ideogram or smiley that can be used in electronic messages. The term “Cara” translates in the Irish language to “friend” and you can expect to see a lot more of this friendly image leading up to conference. There is even a rumour that Cara will be present during the conference in a life-size form.

Update for Presenters

Now that the date for Virtual Papers and requests for late papers has closed we have turned our attention to the challenging task of assigning your presentations to the various tracks and breakout sessions. As you can imagine with a total of 680 paper submissions to schedule over 10 parallel streams this is not an easy task, especially as some authors have yet to confirm their registration as they await news of their Visa or funding application. Please note that wherever possible we will do our best to accommodate requests to present on a specific day due to clashes with other co-authored presentations and/or travel commitments. We anticipate that a more detailed draft programme showing your allocated presentation slot will be available by the time of our next newsletter. 
 

In the meantime, before we share more detailed guidelines for presenters and offer our webinars with tips and suggestions for authors, please work on the basis that Lightening Talks will be allocated 5-minutes, Concise Papers a total of 15-minutes inclusive of question time, and Full Papers 20 minutes. Digital Posters will be featured in prominent locations throughout the conference, with an allocated time for delegates to meet with authors. In the next week or so we expect to send an email to poster presenters with precise instructions on the design, dimensions and required file format of your digital poster. We will also be contacting those people leading symposia, action labs and other more interactive sessions with information about your allocated day/time and session length. 
 
As mentioned above we plan to offer at least two webinars for presenters before the conference to help answer any questions and to provide some useful tips and suggestions for each presentation type. The webinars are likely to be of particular interest if this is your first presentation or you are relatively new at presenting at a major international conference. Please note the first webinar is scheduled for 10:00am GMT on Friday 20th September. You can login to Zoom to join the webinar at the following URL and a recording will be available shortly afterwards on the conference website.
 
https://dcu-ie.zoom.us/j/126311342
 
Closer to November the draft conference programme will indicate those papers that have been nominated by our international judges for an ICDE “best paper award”. This is a prestigious award and authors will be notified before the conference if their paper has been nominated under one of the relevant categories. Authors of nominated best Full Papers will also be invited to submit a journal article in a special conference issue of Open Praxis. Successful awardees will be recognised a special ceremony later in the conference. 
Lastly, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions and remember if you have not already done so you must register for the conference for your paper to be included in the proceedings. 

Sponsor Feature

As we have previously mentioned the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and exhibitors. In this conference newsletter we would like to acknowledge and profile one of Silver sponsors, Catalyst IT. The team from Catalyst IT offers a global team of skilled technologists specialising in developing, designing and supporting enterprise grade systems in education, training and workplace learning using a range of open source technologies. At the core of their work is an ethos of championing the freedom to innovate. Notably the Catalyst IT has a mission where values and integrity come before money. 
The Catalyst story began in 1997 in Wellington when five technologists sat around a table and created the first New Zealand owned and operated open source start-up.  Others saw them more as an upstart, given they were intent on reinventing a marketplace restricted by software licenses and foreign-market-driven IT pricing models.  The desire to change the technology ‘conversation’ was the real catalyst for their new venture. So, naturally, they called the company Catalyst. In essence Catalyst IT was formed to champion a push towards open enterprise. Today they have offices in both hemispheres and have an impressive track-record of successful open source learning solutions in a number of large government agencies and departments, as well as training and educational institutions, including Dublin City University, with particular expertise in MoodleMaharaTotora and Rogō systems. The team from Catalyst IT will be available to talk with delegates throughout the conference and we look forward to learning more from them about some of the new and exciting developments in open source software relevant to the future of online education. 

Register for WCOL 2019

Don’t leave it until the last minute to register for the ICDE World Conference as the clock is rapidly counting down. Dublin will be very busy in November with a number of other major events and the longer you leave it to register, the harder it will be to find reasonably priced hotel accommodation. We have a number of payment options so register now to avoid disappointment. 
Register Today!

Dublin Travel Tips

It is relatively easy to get to the city centre from Dublin Airport using public transportation. The most affordable option is by bus. All buses leave within an easy walking distance of the two main terminals and the most popular bus is Airlink 747 or 757 which makes multiple stops in the city centre. Depending on the traffic the journey will take about 30-minutes, with a one-way ticket costing you €7:00. Both bus routes stop right outside the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) on the banks of the River Liffey. 
 
The good news is that the centre of Dublin is quite compact and easy to navigate on foot. This means that if you plan to stay in the city centre, which we recommend, you might not ever need to take public transportation. The central area is small enough that walking is usually the most efficient way to get around the city. The conference venue is about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the historic Temple Bar district and the two major shopping areas on either side of the River Liffey. 
While Dublin is fairly condensed it still has an easy-to-use public transportation system. You can even grab a hire bike from one of the many stations, with the first 30-minutes of use free on every bike. Between walking, biking, the bus, LUAS, DART and train networks, there are so many ways to get around Dublin, that you'll actually be spoilt for choice. If you’re planning on seeing some of the sights of Dublin then we highly recommend a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus. Dublin buses are double-decker style and like all traffic in Ireland drive on the left side of the road. This is an important point to remember when crossing the road and trying to decide which direction to take the bus. You can buy tickets directly on the bus but you can only do so using Euro coins. No cards are accepted and no change is given, so it is best to have the exact fare already counted out in coins in your hand, ready to drop into the machine next to the driver when you board. 
However, if you are planning to take Dublin Bus or other Dublin public transportation extensively, including hire bikes, then it may be worth investing in the Leap Card. The reloadable travel card offers slightly lower fares on every journey and using one means that you’ll never have any hassle of finding enough coins. For delegates planning to attend the pre-conference events on Sunday 3rdNovember at Dublin City University (DCU) a taxi should only take around 10-minutes from city centre. Depending on your hotel location, and weather, you can probably walk from the city centre to DCU’s St Patrick’s campus in around 30 minutes. 

Booking your accommodation

The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) is located in the Docklands district close to the very heart of Dublin, so there are multiple options for accommodation. We have listed a number of options on the conference website but you are spoilt for choice from budget accommodation through to upmarket hotels. A more extensive list of hotels, serviced apartments and bed and breakfast accommodation can be viewed on the Dublin Convention Bureau website. Please note that Dublin is a very popular business and tourist destination, with a number of major events taking place in November, so we highly recommend that you book your accommodation as soon as possible. 

Follow us

There have already been over 1,000 posts with information about the ICDE World Conference on Twitter, so please remember to follow us on one or more of our social media channels: We will continue to share “bite sized” conference updates via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as we get closer to the start of the World Conference. 

Please remember to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for further “bite sized” conference updates as we share just in time and just enough information about this year’s ICDE World Conference.

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