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| Published 22. 11. 2011. 13:44 | RSS

Closing of the 13th CARNet Users Conference - CUC 2011

The 13th CARNet Users Conference - CUC 2011, entitled "All roads lead to the Internet" and held from 14th to 16th November 2011 on Rijeka University Campus on Trsat was officially closed. The Conference was organised by the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet, under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Ivo Josipović, Ph.D., and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. This years conference focused on exchange of experience in application of new educational technologies.

That all roads indeed lead to the Internet was confirmed by the Conference programme, which was divided in six thematic units with five keynote lectures, 12 workshops, 77 presentations and one round table.

Continuing with its tradition, CUC provided its participants with an opportunity to hear some of the most renowned experts in the field of ICT. Lectures were held by five keynote speakers. Prof. Pero Lučin, Ph.D., the rector of Rijeka University, held a lecture entitled "A New World of Learning – Croatia 2020", in which he talked about the changes occurring in the human brain and in the learning process as a result of fast technology development, as well as the changes in the society and educational systems.

Mr. George Siemens, a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, Canada, and the author of the theory of connectivism, in his lecture "Learning in complex knowledge spaces" he talked about the development of social networks and the changes in student - teacher relationship, and also about some new pedagogical ideas.

Dr. Jim Ptaszynski, the senior director of the World Wide Higher Education Strategy, Microsoft Corporation, in his lecture entitled "University of the Future" he explained the need for a better integration of technology in education so as to achieve competitiveness of educational institutions. Mr. Ivan Maglić, the regional manager of Gartner Adriatic/Calisto, in his lecture entitled "Smart Education - the Future is here" presented the results of Gartner studies of application of technology in education. The fifth lecture, entitled "21 years of CARNet ", was held by Mr. Zvonimir Stanić, CARNet Chief Executive Officer.

John Chevers (Services Manager at DANTE) gave a presentation on the pan-European research and education network GÉANT. In this he emphasised the services offered to CARnet users via GÉANT and, in particular, the advantages of using research networks rather than the commercial internet for international collaboration. John also highlighted the many use cases of the GÉANT network from the CERN LHC experiements to satellite tracking of oil spills.

This year's Conference was marked by cooperation with Rijeka University and Microsoft Croatia in organisation of an exclusive international gathering - the Academic Summit, which was held on Monday and Tuesday, 14th and 15th November. The Summit gathered about fifty representatives of higher education institutions from Central and Eastern European countries, primarily university rectors and prorectors, as well as representatives of competent ministries and leaders of government agencies responsible for higher education.

The Conference was traditionally accompanied by Webfestival - a competition of web content authors. The topic of this year's Webfestival was the application of social software tools in education. In the category "Friends around the desk" the expert panel of judges selected between 18 educational contents and awarded the first prize to a Research Project from the subject of fine arts by Kristina Rismondo, a student of XV. gimnazija in Zagreb. The second prize was awarded to the Geographic map with a purpose by Vesna Janko, a student of 2nd Primary School in Bjelovar, whereas the third prize went to the 1.b class webpage created by Sandra Vuk, a student of August Šenoa Primary School in Zagreb. According to the votes of the audience, which awarded it 446 "likes", the best and the most social educational contents of the total of 18, in the category "Surf and learn", was Portal Moja matura (My Final Exam Portal) created by a group of authors represented by Ms. Sonja Lušić Radošević, a teacher of mathematics and IT.

CUC 2011 also included a CMS competition entitled "Spruce up the Web" for all primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia which have their own websites, by using CARNet CMS system. In the Primary schools category the winners were: the first prize – Visoka Primary School; the seconf prize – Nikola Tesla Primary School from Mirkovci and the third prize – Veliko Trojstvo Primary Schoo. The winners of the secondary schools category were: 1st prize - Duga Resa Secondary School; 2nd prize - Private Economics and Informatics School, and the 3rd prize - Private language and informatics school Svijet. In the category of The Most Spruced up Club, the winner was Slavko Kolar Primary School from Hercegovac, and the special commendation awarded by the CMS development team for an exceptionally advanced and creative approach in creation of a school website visual identity was given to Duga Resa Secondary School.

The International Programme Committee decided that the best paper of the Conference was the "Introduction of flexible learning in secondary school vocational education and training: comparative study of two schools" by a group of authors - Mario Božurić, the School of Electrotechnics from Zagreb, and Mia Čarapina and Petar Jandrić from the Polytechnic of Zagreb. The best presentation was decided by online voting of CUC participants and the prize went to the presentation entitled "Curriculum for initial learning of English language in Ireland and possibilities of reading competence development by using educational software" by Davorka Bačeković-Mitrović, a teacher of Croatian language and the principal of the 2nd Primary School in Bjelovar.

Novelty of this year's CUC was the cooperation of CARNet and Media Research journal and the Croatian Journal of Education. Based on the proposal of the CUC 2011 Programme Committee, and in conformity with the editorial policy of the aforementioned journals, several of the best papers will be published in one of their following issues. Original research and technical papers may enter the selection.

The Conference was attended by 450 accredited participants, and a video link on CARNet Media on Demand made lectures accessible to those who were unable to attend the Conference. The official language of the Conference was Croatian, and the lectures of foreign lecturers were held in English.

Media sponsors of the 13th CARNet Users Conference were: EduCentar.net, Croatian Radio – Radio Sljeme, Jutarnji list, Netokracija, MojPrviPosao.net, PCchip, Racunalo.com, Večernji list, VIDI and qLife.

It would have been impossible to organise the Conference without our sponsors and partners. The full list of our sponsors can be found at http://cuc.carnet.hr/2011/sponzori_cuc.

Additional information about the Conference programme and accompanying events can be found at http://cuc.carnet.hr/2011.