Annual Report 2014, Porto
Network 6 "Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures" expected 32 individual paper presentations resp. symposium paper presentations in Porto and all presenters without exception showed up. One symposium (on Open Educational Resources), three joined sessions (two with Network ICT in Education and one with Network Teacher Education), seven paper sessions and one workshop filled all the slots of our network programme. There was no need for parallel sessions, which was quite helpful for keeping a vivid but focussed discussion throughout the whole conference. All sessions were well attended, the number of participants per session ranged from 14 (Friday afternoon) to 38; on an average 26 participants attended. The quality of the presented papers was mostly very good, only one - unfortunately a joined paper - session was somewhat disappointing, as the link convenor of the ICT in Education Network and myself unanimously agreed. Nevertheless, the discussion was yet fruitful. The presentations in Porto again addressed a wide range of topics: visual cultures, online communities, innovative use of digital media, reluctance, mediatised environments, informal learning, net generation, transdisciplinary explorations, future classrooms, digital storytelling, media literacy, open educational environments. The broad horizon of topics and of methodological approaches in our Network is held together by the respectful and fruitful discussions of the dedicated community. It really helps that a lot of our network members usually attend nearly all of our network sessions. for Porto, and he/she finally did not even show up during the conference. We think about how to make this form of contribution more attractive.
Network 6 "Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures" enjoyed once again the possiblity at ECER 2014 to address and discuss a broad range of topics and to connect different perspectives and research findings in a European educational discussion. As we used to say, Network 6's aim is to host researchers who see the need for a pedagogical fundament for theoretical and empirical research in the area of media education, open learning and cultural contexts for learning with media. It was not special to Porto, but in Porto again we managed to address with our Network sessions our long-time network members from Europe and also to win new researchers to participate in our theoretically and empirically based discussions. Therefore, we are open to organise up to three or four joined sessions with other networks, as we did previously (e.g. with Networks NW 16, NW 19, NW 29). This year, for the first time, we organized a joined paper session with Network Teacher Education (NW 10), that was quite fruiteful. Furthermore we organised two joined sessions with Network 16 (a network which is usually more focussed on classroom education and the use of ICT) on the topics of media literacy and questioning the net generation. The variety of methodological approaches enriched the discussions. The whole programme of our network gave plenty opportunities to relate to the overall theme of the ECER 2014 conference "The past, the present and future of educational research in Europe". Looking back and forward in time and comparing research results of the last decades inspired presentations and discussions.
We had some presenters and presentations from the local (portuguese) research community, but there have not been any special activities.