Digital change effects all aspects of life and education is no exception.
Digital change needs digital education, this includes imparting digital skills as well as learning with digital media.
This year, over 320 exhibitors came to LEARNTEC to show educators their solutions to these digital challenges.
I was lucky enough to get complimentary tickets to LEARNTEC this year, so planned a day last week to make the trip to Karlsruhe. My main aim of the visit was to research virtual classroom/webclassroom platforms. I have been working with WebEx (Cisco) for the past year and find it has some limitations, for example, the interactivity during document sharing is limited and the whiteboard only suitable for lists and notes. I was interested to see what else is available on the market.
My first stop was at GotoMeeting. As with WebEx it is designed primarily with the business user in mind and was not specifically designed for the virtual classroom. That being said, it seems easy to use and has lots of features that would come in useful in the classroom setting. With a price point of 19 Euro per month for the basic version and 29 Euro for the Pro version, it is comparable with WebEx, with slightly more functionality. However, testing is really important and I now have a 14 trial to test the functions I need for my webclassroom trainings.
My next stop was Rosetta Stone, I watched a live demo lesson with a teacher in the US and was surprised to see that they use WebEx for their virtual classrooms.
I made as short visit to Learnship and watched a recorded demonstration of their virtual classroom but they did not have an example of their E-Learning tool available.
Another ELTAS committee member, Andy Vogt-Nas was also at the show, so we met up for a short break in the Caribbean themed foyer. Together, we visited some ELT exhibitors and exchanged contact Details with a view to future workshops and speakers.
An interesting but tiring day, but well worth the visit.