Just back from a fascinating visit to Berlin. I was speaking at the Symposium e-Kompetenz und e-Didaktik. It was held in Humboldt University at their Adlershof campus and gave me an excellent opportunity to speak with colleagues from across the German higher education sector.
Many of the issues there are similar to those we all experience: open source vs proprietary software; pedagogy vs technology; levels of resources; incentivisation and promotion of teaching innovation; the tension between teaching and research; etc. Many there, as echoed by the representative from the Federal Ministry of Education and in recent dicussions with the European Commission, believe that we have now moved away from a special status for "e-learning" and that we should once again be talking about "learning" with the "e" just being one of many strategies that can lead to a rich blend. We'll be seeing signs of this change in perspective in future funding calls which will no longer single out "e" learning as a distinct entity. This is a real sign of maturity in the field and shows that the hype is beginning to fade as we move into a phase of deeper embedding of technology into the mainstream.
As for other topics under discussion, informally, the scope for greater European cooperation in not just this area, but in staff development in higher education in general is very much on the agenda.
All in all a very worthwhile trip, but I really must do something about my lack of German!