ELIG sets learning priorities in Europe for 2009

Exploring a compelling vision of learning in the 21st century; demonstrating how ‘learning’ can ensure economic survival in the light of the current global financial crisis, and promoting technology for ‘upskilling’ learning are the priorities for The European Learning Industry Group (ELIG) in 2009.

These priorities were agreed at the organisation’s annual general meeting (AGM), which was held in Sestri Levante, Italy, at the end of October and hosted by Giunti Labs, a leading learning and mobile content management solution provider, whose CEO, Fabrizio Cardinali, is chair of ELIG.

ELIG’s Secretary General, Richard Straub, outlined ELIG’s achievements in 2007/08 – exploring the market for e-learning in the Near East and North Africa; establishing a number of working groups, as well as public policy groups which had held regular meetings with European Union (EU) officials.

The 50 or delegates at the AGM, drawn from the group’s membership of leaders in the field of learning within the EU, also heard Elmar Husmann, a senior policy advisor to ELIG, explain that ELIG needs to re-think its positioning with regards to the EU.

Husmann stated: “E-learning has largely disappeared from the EU policy agenda.

“Consequently, we need to take a broader vision of next generation learning that is enabled by information and communications technology. This will include supporting informal learning and knowledge creation via social networks.”

Earlier, delegates heard the views of thought leaders in learning from the USA and Europe, including Rob Abel, CEO of the IMS Global Learning Consortium; Pascal Debordes, e-learning Director of Cegos; Michael King, Vice President of Global Education Industry for IBM, and David Worlock, Chief Research Fellow at Outsell, Inc.

Worlock revealed that, according to Outsell statistics, the information industry grew by 6.6 per cent in 2007 to reach $390bn globally.

Within this sector, the greatest degree of growth is in search aggregation and syndication – which is growing annually at 26 per cent. The next fastest growing sector is HR information (15.4 per cent)

“The current market is full of discontinuities,” he observed. “What will change this is the growth of parental and individual purchasing power for learning materials; custom publishing, and the current recession putting pressure on organisatons to determine the true return on investment of both learning and assessment.”

The ELIG AGM concluded with three breakout sessions, facilitated by Richard Straub, Elmar Husmann and Matty Smith, of Henley Business School and a Senior Advisor to ELIG. 

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