Call for Workshops (EC-TEL 2008)

February 21st, 2008 by Martin

I attended both EC-TEL 2006 (in Crete) and EC-TEL 2007 (also in Crete), and I enjoyed them a lot (postings can be found here). EC-TEL 2008 will take place in the sunny City of Maastricht…so no sunburn risk this time. But anyway: We’re only in it for the science, aren’t we? ;-) And I’m sure that there will be great attendees again, so I encourage you to submit a proposal for a workshop!

** 2. Call for Workshops **
EC-TEL 2008

Third European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning

Maastricht, The Netherlands
September 17-19 2008

Supported by the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning (EA-TEL)


The European Conference Series on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) provides a unique opportunity and forum for researchers of all respective disciplines to come together and discuss recent achievements and future challenges in TEL. With the previous two highly successful EC-TEL in 2006 and 2007 and about 200 participants each, this years’ EC-TEL 2008 invites all researchers across the different fields of TEL (education, psychology, computer science, economics …) to contribute to the scientific landscape of technology enhanced learning.

In the context of EC-TEL 2008, we invite workshop proposals on challenging topics that discuss specific issues relating to TEL. The workshops of EC-TEL 2008 are expected to look onward beyond recent achievements to discuss specific topics, emerging research issues, new trends and endeavors in TEL. The workshops should provide an excellent forum for discussion, so that novel work not yet finalized can be presented in a friendly and supportive environment.

EC-TEL 2008 offers the usual serviced workshops, where registration, catering, room allocation and audio/visual will be organized by the conference organizers. The serviced workshops will take place on Wednesday before the conference. The workshops will be hosted at the conference venue Workshop proposals can have any duration from half-day to one day.

** Submission **

Workshop proposals should not exceed 4 pages (single spaced, 12 point Times New Roman style font). They should briefly outline the topic of the workshop and how it is relevant to TEL. The proposals should include a short statement describing the background of each of the organizers, clearly illustrating their expertise in this topic. Workshop proposers should outline the names and topics of expected contributors/facilitators, and indicate why EC-TEL conference attendees would participate in the workshop. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Workshop participants will need to register for the EC-TEL conference.

Using a peer-review system, the successful workshops will be selected among all submitted proposals. The peer-review group consists of members of the conference program committee und the auspice of the conference chairs.

Enquiries and submissions should be emailed to the EC-TEL workshop chair:

** Publication **

The workshop proceedings will be published online as part of the CEUR Workshop proceedings series. is a recognized ISSN publication series, ISSN 1613-0073.

Furthermore, the two best papers of each workshop will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning (IJTEL -

** Important dates **

• Workshop Proposal Submission Deadline: April 1, 2008
• Notification of Workshop Acceptance: May 7, 2008
• Camera Ready Proceedings of Workshops: August 31, 2008
• Workshops: September 17, 2008

The Future of Metadata

February 8th, 2008 by Martin

Back from the Workshop “Metadata 2.0″ in Leuven. Thanks to the organizers and participants for this inspiring event! You find the presented material on the Wiki.

20080207 leuven 005
Yes, of course I had frites in Belgium!

What’s the outcome for me? Well, there’s definitely something going on out there. And most of the people are aware of that. Expert generated metadata - whatever quality they create, and even if it was only considering “objective” metadata - is not a solution for the future. What worked (somehow) for libraries doesn’t work in the same way for digital resources, especially on the Web. The Web is no library. We need new approaches when it’s about to provide information about resources.

The Web is not centralized. And neither should the metadata describing resources on the Web be. I think that Resource profiles as described by Stephen Downes in 2004 are the future of metadata! There is a lot of very valuable information about resources in many places. Distributed, created in different ways, in different formats. This can of course also be expert metadata, but also metadata generated by users or user interactions, usage metadata, automatically generated metadata etc. Yes, it can also be crap. But we are free to choose what we need and what we like. It’s up to us which people and which services we trust! When we look at all the different metadata this way, we have a much better chance to get valid information about what a resource is really about, about how it is used in the community, and about subjective information such as “quality” or “difficulty”.

Of course we can only use metadata about resources when we know that it exists. Maybe someday Google or someone else will provide means as the recently launched Social Graph API to harvest metadata. When we can’t harvest the information ourselves, we need hubs where such information is collected. And because we wanted to have such a hub that also allows to integrate new information, we developed ALOE. Using the Web Interface or the Service API, everybody can contribute information like “x is metadata about y”. Users can either upload the metadata and the resource, or they can just referer to an existing URL. ALOE is a repository and a referatory. Because a simple hub would be quite dead and anonymous, and because we also wanted to encourage users to participate, we developed ALOE as a “social hub”, i.e., it comes with a nice Web interface, you can tag, comment, rate, communicate, join groups…all the social media stuff.

It will be very exciting to see what will happen in the future. And I hope some of the exciting things will happen in ALOE! And this reminds me that I almost forgot that we also have an ALOE Blog, and that I should blog about what we’re currently working on…stay tuned!

“Metadata 2.0″

February 5th, 2008 by Martin

Thanks to Erik Duval and Martin Wolpers, I have the pleasure to give a talk at the Workshop “Metadata 2.0″ in Leuven on February 7th.

The title of my presentation will be ALOE - Combining User Generated Content and Traditional Metadata. I will talk about the ideas that led to the development of ALOE, and about the (potential) benefits of combining different kinds of metadata.

Update: The slides are available at slideshare now