A panel discussion illustrated new opportunities for learning. A key aspect of this is being able to learn anytime, from anywhere – using a smartphone and being connected to the internet.

Mike Feerick, CEO of Alison, believes in „informal learning“ – free courses and certificates, but also free publishing of learning material. „The power of the crowd“ – especially in Afrika – has helped them to establish their courses, e.g. in Project Management, as a standard. They are also trying to turn people who know things into teachers, to make passiv knowledge active again. Publishers who contribute will get a share in the revenues created by adverstising.

Mike also stressed that especially ppl aged 40-60 should do informal learning courses, as the knowledge they earned their degree in is often out of date. Employers often ask: „what have you learned recently?“ – It is important to show that you‘re still curious.

Q-Sense, as illustrated by Amy Franken from the Netherlands,  is a company that makes use of Big Data and AI to make the learning experience more powerful. They make use of „playlists“ for learning; the success can be monitored.

Lectory, presented by Ralph Möllers, has a social media approach to reading and learning. Users of the platform can make annotations to texts (text itself cannot be changed) in a FB-comment/reply style. It is a combination of in-class and online-learning. They cooperate with Reclam and the Goethe Institut. Ralph added that their tool helps promote the ideas of students who are shy & won‘t speak up in class. In the safety of their room, however, they will often create bits of texts on the book the class is reading. The teacher can then check this and say, „Melanie had a great idea …“ – often, he added, shy students in school are, unfortunately, girls. „A very direct teacher-student interaction“ is supported.