UniServe Science News Volume 11 November 1998



Carmel McNaught
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

David Kennedy
The University of Melbourne

The 10th world conference on educational multimedia and hypermedia and world conference on educational telecommunications was held in Freiburg, Germany from June 20 - 25, 1998. Over 850 delegates attended. The conference is becoming truly international with delegates from 40 countries and all continents. There were 485 papers and over 150 posters, panels, tutorials and pre-conference workshops in 28 major topic areas. With large conferences like this one needs to spend a period of time planning each day. The papers were variable (they need much more stringent refereeing) but we both got several new ideas and contacts. There were fewer than usual papers on examples of how to teach in a content area and more about how the technology might be used to assist students learning - over distance, in collaborative situations, closely linked to professional needs, etc. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

A few highlights for us were:

  • some excellent sessions on games and simulations as learning resources;
  • sessions on the communicative potential of the web; and
  • Norbert Streitz from a German research centre talking about prototypes for designing spaces where documents can be moved across a wall by sliding and throwing, where people on terminals can change the wall display. All sorts of possibilities for interactive classrooms!

  • Australians were well represented, as usual. With our small population, we can be proud of our international reputation at conferences like ED-MEDIA. There were good opportunities for informal discussions and 'networking', at the conference itself and over meals at cafes in Freiburg.

    Freiburg is a lovely German town. Only the cathedral is genuine; everything else was bombed out of existence during the second world war but the reconstruction to original plans is very impressive. The conference dinner was in a German winery - a great evening, but our Australian reds are much better!

    The next ED-MEDIA conference will be in Seattle, Washington, USA, 19-24 June 1999.

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    UniServe Science News Volume 11 November 1998

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