The beginning of July 2008 found me in Haarlem, Holland for the DIVERSE2008 conference. Having been to DIVERSE2006 (at Glasgow Caledonian), I knew the title was an acronym, but whenever I’d been asked what it stood for I replied “I’m not sure, but I do know that the V is for Video and one of the Es is for Education”. It turns out that although I had the gist of it, even this info was inaccurate – DIVERSE stands for Developing Innovative Visual Educational Resources for Students Everywhere, another entry in the pantheon of contrived and convulated names!
I do like the DIVERSE crowd – their backgrounds are as varied as the acronym implies (although Dutch and English are the predominant nationalities). What the delegates have in common is an interest in the use of video technologies in education. Applications can be quite varied; there’s a strong video-conferencing strand (which isn’t really my thing) but I picked up sessions in all four of the parallel themes: pedagogy and assessment; tools and content orientated applications; projects and cases – implementation and sustainability; and people and technology – societal aspects. This year’s event included a demonstration of a live cello masterclass with the instructor in Holland teaching a pupil in America via Internet2, a high-quality connection. Continue reading