Back to the Future?

Leuven, Belgium   |   20-21 June 2024

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What lies ahead for the Media & Learning community: a return to traditional campus-based learning services, prioritizing quality and embracing gradual innovation? Or will institutions take a leap forward, embracing hybrid and hyflex arrangements that cater to students’ needs through a blend of in-person and online components, eventually transitioning into a fully online service landscape, while harnessing the transformative potential of AI and Immersive Learning technologies?

This is the conundrum facing many centres for teaching and learning, AV support services and anyone who works to bridge the gap in higher education institutions between teaching and learning and media based technologies. This is why the organisers of this year’s conference have chosen the conference is organised under the tagline Back to the Future? as we believe it encapsulates this challenge and helps us to shape an agenda providing plenty of opportunities to discuss the options.

The Media & Learning 2024: Back to the Future? conference endorsed by KU Leuven Learning Lab will take place from 20 – 21 June 2024 at the Provinciehuis in Leuven. The conference will bring together a vibrant community of educators, researchers, and innovators passionate about leveraging media for enhanced learning experiences. Be prepared for thought-provoking keynotes, interactive workshops, and engaging discussions as we delve into the 14 themes.

*Due to space limitations, registration will be necessary to attend some sessions taking place in smaller rooms at the upcoming conference. We'll share the registration link one week before the event, on June 13th at 12:00 PM CEST, ensuring equal opportunity for all interested participants. Please note that there won't be waiting lists, but in the event of no-shows on-site, available seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We hope that this approach will help us manage attendance efficiently and guarantee a comfortable experience for all attendees. Keep an eye out for the registration link, which will be shared via email, to secure your spot !

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Keynotes

Keynote speakers @ Media & Learning 24

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Piet Desmet,

KU Leuven, Belgium

Going digital. Staying human. Artificial intelligence and other Edtech challenges@KU Leuven

The responsible use of multimedia and educational technology stands as a pivotal strategic imperative within the policy framework of KU Leuven. Under the banner of Going Digital, Staying Human, our institution is steadfastly committed to the seamless integration of technology in learning and assessment, alongside the digital transformation of our educational approach. Within this context, the integration of VR/AR/XR technology into simulation-based education emerges as a prominent focal point of our agenda.

It goes without saying that artificial intelligence represents the technological frontier that currently commands our foremost attention at KU Leuven, particularly in terms of its impact on our educational concept. From a realistic perspective, we explain why AI is crucial in empowering both the learner, the teacher, and the institution. We focus primarily on what AI specifically means for these three key actors in formal education. For the learner, this includes adaptive learning apps, open-ended tasks, and advanced forms of learner support. For the teacher, we address content creation, content recommendation, and classroom monitoring. Regarding the institution, we consider the monitoring of students at risk, student coaching, and the impact on administrative processes. We conclude with some reflections on what's next, in which we pay attention not only to further application possibilities, but also to the valid concerns associated with AI in education (AIED).

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Amanda Murphy, 

Royal Holloway University of London & Storyfutures, UK

Sensation, hype cycles and the struggle of HE to keep up with innovation technologies

This presentation discusses the benefits and challenges of XR in education at a time when AI has gripped the world and access to XR through increasingly democratised tools is radically changing how we interact with the real world. What does this mean for future generations and for universities seeking to integrate XR into the curriculum? How to disrupt old ways of teaching in order to seize the opportunities this transformational technology presents? It draws on the work of StoryFutures at Royal Holloway University of London where we developed cutting edge research & development programmes working with world leading industry partners to forge new models of industry facing challenge led research, and teaching programmes using a human-centred approach to inform best practice in inclusive innovation; and an interdisciplinary UK wide Train the Trainer initiative sought to build skills capacity in collaboration and partnerships with other HE institutes. It refers to a case study of StoryTrails developed an innovative participatory storytelling model using democratised tools, bringing industry and community partners together to address the digital public realm. While there is huge appetite for XR in teaching, there is much work to be done if we are to developing best practice guidelines, open source educational resources, standardised cost-effective tools and platforms for example. Research, collaboration, partnerships and inclusion sit at the heart of it.

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Maarten Lamers,

Leiden University, The Netherlands

When Machines Learn Too... A How and Why of AI

Learning unlocks intelligence. And for as long as we can oversee, learning was something uniquely human, or animal, just as creativity. But machine learning artificial intelligence enables machines to create pictures more realistically than we can, to compose songs in mere seconds, and to write texts about any topic imaginable. So, what is AI really, and broadly, how does it work? What role does machine learning play and are there limitations to its capabilities? In fact, why do we even have AI? Without going into technical depths, Maarten discusses the why and how of machine learning AI, and what it generally can and cannot do.

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Lizzy Bleumers,  

Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Belgium

Education (Em)powered by Generative AI

The ongoing advancements in generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) simultaneously evoke excitement, bewilderment and apprehension. And this is no different in the field of education. Much of the delight stems from GenAI-driven tools promising to save us time when creating educational resources. And while these certainly address a critical need, it is essential that we also consider how generative AI can uniquely promote the quality of learning, and what is needed to tap into this potential effectively and responsibly. In my presentation, I will share concrete examples of how GenAI is applied to optimize and transform educational media production and teaching practice, discuss the potential pitfalls we need to navigate, and reflect on how we can support competent GenAI use in education. These insights draw from the research in the (Em)powered by AI project, my colleagues and I are conducting at Thomas More University of Applied Sciences within the Sustainable Business and Digital Innovation Centre of Expertise.

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Gary Burnett,

Loughborough University, UK

Understanding the power of immersive technologies for enhanced student engagement and learning

Immersive technologies (such as virtual and augmented reality, mixed reality, hologram displays, etc.) have the potential to significantly enhance the engagement and learning of students – providing magical, gamified and memorable experiences that would otherwise be unsafe, impossible or expensive in real-world settings. Nevertheless, there are considerable challenges to maximise the benefits whilst minimising potential drawbacks in educational contexts. Professor Burnett has taught hundreds of students about immersive technology as avatars within fantastical virtual worlds and is also now exploring the use of advanced hologram technology in university environments. In this talk, he will outline the fundamental arguments for immersive technology and describe the research he has conducted in partnership with his students to understand how best to utilise immersion for enhancing and extending learning outcomes.

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Maya Georgieva,

Innovation Center, XR, HCI, AI & Quantum Labs, USA

New Frontiers: The Convergence of Creativity, Technology, and Ethics in Learning

This keynote will explore the future of learning at the dynamic intersection of creativity, technology, and ethics. As we stand on the cusp of a creative renaissance, we will dive into the profound impacts and opportunities presented by new media and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Extended Reality (XR), and Quantum Computing.

These technologies are not merely tools; they are catalysts for innovation, pushing the boundaries of what it means to learn and create. We will showcase pioneering examples where technology amplifies creativity, fostering a culture of innovation that inspires new models of learning, student engagement, and resilience.

The talk will critically examine the ethical dimensions of integrating these frontier technologies into learning environments. We will discuss the imperative of maintaining privacy, ensuring equitable access, and fostering an inclusive learning atmosphere amidst these technological advances.

Speakers and moderators

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Anne-Astrid Agten

KU Leuven, Belgium

Nathan Arrowsmith

Nathan Arrowsmith

Nathan Arrowsmith, The Netherlands

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Isabel Bekman

Hogeschool Windesheim, The Netherlands

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Sue Bickerdike

University of Leeds, UK

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Klara Bilić Meštrić

Croatian Academic & Research Network, Croatia

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Jan Alexander Bolding

Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

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Kiara Billiau

The Open University, The Netherlands

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Jan Petrus Bosman

Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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Evert Binnard

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Jeroen Bottema

Inholland University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

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Audun Bjerknes

University of Oslo, Norway

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Nevil Bounds

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Mélanie Chamel

University of Strasbourg, France

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Anneleen Cosemans

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Yentl Croese

Leiden University, The Netherlands

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Serge de Beer

Learning Tour, The Netherlands

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Peter De Wilde

Dialog, Belgium

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Gregory Fantham

Heriot-Watt University, UK

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Johanna Fenton

University of Leeds, UK

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Sebastian Freisleder

FWU Institut für Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, Germany

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Yiannis Georgiou

Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

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Matthew Gilooly

University of Derby, UK

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Mary Godfrey

Harvard University, USA

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Sonia Hetzner

FAU, Germany

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Martijn Janssen

AudioXL, The Netherlands

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Andrea Camero Jareño

IE University, Spain

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Gabriel Jones

University of Leeds, UK

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Carolien Kamphuis

Npuls Program, Surf, The Netherlands

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Lucy Kendra

Heriot-Watt Online, UK

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Tatsiana Komissarova

University of Oslo, Norway

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Tim Kutter

TrackingMaster, Germany

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Paul Lashmana

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Vicky Lee

ClickView, Australia

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Pien Leeuwenburgh

Leiden University, The Netherlands

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Raf Lehaen

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Michael Leroy

TU Dortmund, Germany

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Greet Leysens

KU Leuven, Belgium

Tessa Meerkerk

Tessa Meerkerk

Enghouse Video, The Netherlands

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Jenny Méité

UbiCast, France

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Alexandra Mihai

Maastricht University, The Netherlands

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John Murray

National University of Ireland Galway

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Gustavo Nogueira de Menezes

University of Jena, Temporality Lab, The Netherlands

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Edward Naessens

RCSI University of Medicine, Ireland

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Martin Nosek

Swansea University, UK

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Chahira Nouira

University of Gőttingen, Germany

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Sarah M Oliver

University of Michigan, USA

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Alice Pistono

JoVE, USA

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Camila Monge Pizarro

Université Ouverte des Humanités, France

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Anke Pesch

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Christophe Renard

HELMo, Belgium

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André Rosendaal

University of Groningen, The Netherlands

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Hilmar Salac

Panasonic Connect Europe, Germany

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Alfredo Salomão Filho

FAU, Germany

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Nathan Saucier

Leiden University, The Netherlands

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Jake Sawbridge

Panopto

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Sebastien Schmitz

IHECS, Belgium

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Lana Scott

MIT, USA

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Dini Sianturi

Université de Strasbourg, France

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Jason Shave

X2O Media, Benelux

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Kaat Somers

University Centre Sint-Ignatius Antwerp, Belgium

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Stef Stes

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Andy Thys

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Tanja Tillmanns

FAU, Germany

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Hans Timmermans

Biamp

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Markus Tischner

FAU, Germnay

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Elke Van Ael

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Elke Van der Stappen

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Tine Van Lommel

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Michiel van Oosterzee

The Open University, The Netherlands

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Robbe vanden Brande

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Stéphanie Vanneste

Vives, Belgium

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An Verburgh

 UCLL, Belgium

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Tula Verhalle

KU Leuven, Belgium

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Linde Voorend

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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John Walker

Surf, The Netherlands

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Thomas Waterzooi

Studio Waterzooi, Belgium

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Ahmed Yousof

East Stroudsburg University, USA

Venue

This year’s Media & Learning Conference is being held in the splendid Provincie Vlaams-Brabant - Provinciehuis.

Provincie Vlaams-Brabant - Provinciehuis is about a 10 minute walk from the train station and an 20 minute walk from the city centre.

Take a look at our suggested accommodations and travel advice. Please note that we have no affiliation with any travel agency should you be contacted to arrange your stay.

Provincie Vlaams-Brabant - Provinciehuis

Provincieplein 1

3010 Leuven

Belgium

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Thanks to our exhibitors and sponsoring members for their continued support.