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DR. PIET KOMMERS , Associate Professor Ph.D of Media, Communication and Education. UNESCO chair in Higher Education. Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Twente, The Netherlands.



Keynote Speech Title:

"Playing as Metaphor for Learning in the 21st Century"



Educational practices shift from curricular to continuous life-long learning in which the learner needs to develop the efficacy in self-regulation and a recurring willingness to revise existential and professional views. In terms of expertise access there is not so much a physical boundary as was before. Much more decisive is the growing need to redefine the concepts of work, jobs and enterprise. This lecture will highlight the typical affordances to equip vocational and regular higher education with 21st century skills and attitudes. The growing awareness is that social media can no longer be seen just as distractions to what we used to call "study mentality"; Students need to work and play in teams; not only in gaming; also in preparing for a next job or to create a new enterprise. For this sake, the triangle learning-playing-working is gathering momentum. Its invoked paradigm is that playing as mind-set is a vital hub between existential comfort and conceptual ambitions. Entrepreneurial skills are explored and injected in schooling stages. However, even the suggestion that these skills can be transferred is a vulnerable assumption. Problem-based learning however seems to be more proliferating at that point. Recent and ongoing projects will be illustrated.



Dr. Piet Kommers is an early pioneer in media for cognitive- and social support. His doctoral research explored methods for hypertext and concept mapping in learning. Since 1982 he developed educational technology as an engineering approach for learning and teaching. His main thesis is that technology is catalytic for human ambition and awareness. His main function is associate professor in the University in Twente, The Netherlands and adjunct/visiting professor in various countries. He taught more than fifteen bachelor-, master- and PhD courses and supervised more than 30 PhD students. He instigated and coordinated the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Cognitive Technologies in 1990 and a large series of Joint European Research Projects in: authoring multimedia, web-based learning, teacher education, virtual 3d worlds, constructivist learning, social media, web-based communities and international student exchange. UNESCO awarded his work in ICT for Education in Eastern Europe with the title of Honorary Professor. The Capital Normal University in Beijing awarded his work with the title of Honorary Doctor. He is member of advisory boards in ministries of education and academia of sciences in Singapore, Finland and Russia. Piet Kommers is the initiator of the international journal for web-based communities and overall chair of the IADIS conferences on societal applications of ICT. Since the late nineties he gave more than 40 invited and keynote lectures at main conferences in the fields of education, media and communication. His books and journal articles address the social and intellectual transformations at each transition from "traditional" into the "new" media. Instead of regarding media as extrapolating, supplanting, vicarious or even disruptive, Piet's view is that new media elicit and seduce both individuals and organizations to reconsider human nature and challenge existential awareness at that very moment.
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