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LEARNTEC 2020 looks ahead to future learning with artificial intelligence

From 28 to 30 January 2020, the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre will be putting the spotlight squarely on digital education again: LEARNTEC brings visitors up to date on the trends and developments in technology-assisted learning in schools, colleges, universities, and training in professional life. The accompanying trade convention takes a look into the future of the digital education market, combining it with exhibitors’ products and services presented at the trade fair. In 2020, the convention will be looking particularly closely at the future of work and artificial intelligence (AI).

In 2020, the convention will be looking particularly closely at the future of work and artificial intelligence (AI).
In 2020, the convention will be looking particularly closely at the future of work and artificial intelligence (AI).

Visitors to the convention can look forward to features such as a panel discussion between top-class representatives of mid-market companies, big industry, and the scientific community on the status quo of AI in Germany, dealing with the visions and possibilities for its use in education. In a variety of lectures and workshops, the LEARNTEC convention also takes up the issue of using the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology, and performance support. Other key topics are design thinking, New Work, and modern workplace learning.

Trends in digital learning presented by top-class international experts

More than 120 experts will be appearing before the specialist audience on the three days of the event. This year, too, highlights of the convention are the keynote speeches by recognised industry experts. Dr Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin, senior analyst at the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) of the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, will be opening LEARNTEC with a keynote speech on “The future of learning in a digital world”.

This is followed by Irene Oksinoglu, head of the Future Work development group at OTTO Group, who will be talking to convention visitors about all aspects of New Work: “New Work is more than simply a buzzword or colourful offices. It’s the ticket to the future because we must fundamentally change our working methods and ways of thinking to remain viable and concomitantly sustainable. OTTO has set itself in particular the goal of integrating collaborative and flexible working into everyday professional life in such a way as to enable everyone to generate the best possible output for our customers. To achieve this, we assist our colleagues in having access to all work content at any time, from anywhere, and from any device. This enormously alters forms of communication and behaviour.”

Christian Baudis, digital entrepreneur and futurist, will be talking about how digitalisation changes the way we learn: “In the next 10 years, digitalisation will turn all areas of business upside down and transform the education system as well as the way in which and how long we learn. Learning methods will be customised for each individual, and classic chalk-and-talk teaching (online too) will become progressively less important. With AI assistance, we will learn partly at home and, later on, constantly add to our professional skills in just the same way because the body of knowledge will change much more frequently than it does today. Education monopolies will lose significance and the industry will move towards democratisation. It is increasingly less necessary to attend school or university in order to pursue a career. Instead, digital project work and independent study will take us forward.”

Another highlight will be the keynote speech by Reinhard Karger, spokesman for the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI): “AI is desirable in many applications, in some it’s a lifesaver. AI can assist people constructively, but it can’t replace their creativity. AI has a lot of potential, but common sense is unbeatable. People are masters in reducing complexity and then doing the right thing. It’s a talent we masterfully underestimate.”

Brian Murphy, global head of learning transformation at AstraZeneca, will be taking up the subject of “Building enterprise capabilities while enabling learning in the flow of work”.

The convention programme is rounded off by the neuroscientist Dr Dong-Seon Chang: “We live in the digital age, with undreamt of possibilities that become available to us every day with new technologies. In our daily life, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms already determine the new information we will find and discover. Our brain’s hardware, in other words the DNA and the basic structure of the brain, has received no update, however. Our fundamental needs have not changed: what interests us most is other people, what they think about us, and how we interact. ‘Interactivity’ is therefore a very important keyword. New technologies giving us the means to interact better with others will enable us to learn better. When machines become more intelligent, they learn most from people and the data people produce. Understanding human beings is therefore going to become an increasingly important issue in the future.”

Tickets available online

The comprehensive convention programme can be viewed online at for the trade fair and the LEARNTEC convention are already on sale online in the ticket shop at The early-bird discount applies until 9 December 2019.

LEARNTEC 2020: Call for Papers
Congress of LEARNTEC 2019
Congress of LEARNTEC 2019

The Call for Papers for LEARNTEC, Europe’s No. 1 digital-learning congress, is now online. The congress, which takes place simultaneously with the homonymous trade fair from 28 to 30 January 2020, peers into the future of digital education, presents educational projects and connects them with the offers of the trade fair’s exhibitors. Interested parties who would like to participate in the congress have until 19 May 2019 to submit their proposals on suggested topics and speakers.

The objective of the upcoming LEARNTEC congress is to highlight trends and topics in digital education and training. The organizers welcome submissions from representatives of companies and organizations who can report from practical experience, as well as submissions from scientists and academicians. Proposals for innovative learning concepts and, due to the international orientation of the congress, submissions for English-language lectures are likewise welcome.

The following areas of vocational education and training are the focal points of the Call for Papers for the LEARNTEC 2020 Congress:

  • Learning contents and their production
  • Educational software
  • Networked learning
  • Education management
  • Personnel, learning and coaching
  • Hardware and equipment for professional learning
  • Educational projects, programmes and organizations

Submissions related to digital education in schools and universities are also welcome. If accepted, these will be integrated into the programme of open forums at the fair.

Submissions should specify: the title of the presentation and a description of its content; the name, position and company of a potential speaker; as well as personal details and contact information about that proposed speaker. The submission should also indicate the superordinate topic (e.g. “learning software”) under which the presentation can be classified. The congress committee of LEARNTEC – i.e. Sünne Eichler, Prof. Peter A. Henning and Jane Hart – will evaluate submitted papers. The criteria for this evaluation will be based on elements of best practice, scientific excellence, innovation and experience. These serve as the basis for the committee’s decision on each paper’s potential inclusion in the final program structure.

LEARNTEC – Where Learning Is Fun

With more than 11,600 visitors LEARNTEC proved that it is more relevant and more international than ever. The latest trends in digital learning were presented by 341 exhibitors from 15 countries (2018: 302 exhibitors from 14 countries) at Europe's #1 in digital learning. Among others, the focal points included Augmented and Virtual Reality learning worlds, the topic of modern workplace learning, and various ways in which Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Learning Analytics can be utilized to individualize learning. “We had already experienced significant growth last year. And now this year’s event has bested our previous record”, sums up Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH. “Karlsruhe once again distinguished itself as a hotspot for digital education, thus clearly positioning itself in the international area. LEARNTEC’s exhibitors were self-confident and optimistic on this innovative platform.”

LEARNTEC’s excellent results affirm its leading position, as does its extensive coverage in TV, radio, print and online media. LEARNTEC’s strong position is also confirmed by mmb Learning Delphi, an expert survey which continues to assign a first-place ranking to this trade fair for coming years. Beginners and e-learning experts alike took advantage of the numerous insights which the fair provided into future technologies and state-of-the-art methods, thus adding to their existing expertise and acquiring valuable information from exhibitors. Never before have more visitors given top marks to LEARNTEC.

Area for Augmented and Virtual Reality attracted visitors like a magnet

Offered for the first time, the Area for Augmented and Virtual Reality was very warmly received right from the start. It earned topmost ratings from 94 percent of the visitors. Designed in collaboration with the First German Association for Virtual Reality (EDFVR), the AR/VR Area demonstrated that learning and fun can indeed be combined. “With the AR/VR Area, LEARNTEC offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience how Virtual and Augmented Reality can be specifically utilized as new learning media”, says Torsten Fell, member of the EDFVR advisory board. The 3spin company, which was one of the exhibitors, expressed strong enthusiasm: “This is our first time here and we are very satisfied. We are presenting software that can be used to create Augmented and Virtual Reality trainings. Now is precisely the right moment for us to come to LEARNTEC. This topic is a magnet for visitors and it is more topical than ever”, summarizes the company’s co-owner Thomas Hoger.

LEARNTEC presents the school of the future

For the sixth time, the school@LEARNTEC subject area convinced headmasters, scholastic media consultants, heads of education offices, employees on the state and district levels, as well as interested teachers. On the fair’s second day, Prof. Dr. R. Alexander Lorz, Hessian Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs and President of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK), participated in a panel discussion entitled “Teaching as a Staging of Complexity”. Lorz emphasized the importance of digitization for a successful scholastic education: “The ability to handle digital media with confidence and assuredness is increasingly becoming an important prerequisite for the educational success of pupils in school and also afterwards in their professional careers. The ‘Digital Pact’ between Germany’s federal government and the German states adds extra impetus to the schools’ efforts, but should not be regarded as the sole remedy.”

The Media Competence Day on the fair’s third day provided insights into current developments in the digitization of scholastic education. In the context of the opening, Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe, presented the City of Karlsruhe’s IT school project. “This project’s primary focus is to supply schools with the necessary infrastructure, i.e. to ensure broadband connections into and out of the schools and appropriate WLAN equipment inside the schools. The second step is to provide schools with hardware and software based on media development planning”, Dr. Frank Mentrup said. “This project is already attracting attention throughout Germany, and I am very pleased to be able to introduce it at LEARNTEC, which is Europe’s largest event for digital education and thus the optimal venue for this presentation.”

First-rate convention with strong audience appeal

A very warm reception likewise greeted the high-carat convention, which was conceived this year for the first time in collaboration with the world-renowned Workplace Learning expert Jane Hart. “The significant increase in the number of participants shows us that we have indeed selected precisely those topics that move the visitors. Alongside the mixture of very practical questions ranging from content development to the application of blockchains for learning scenarios, we also cover the complete spectrum of themes in digital education”, agree Sünne Eichler, Jane Hart and Prof. Dr. Peter A. Henning, all of whom are members of the LEARNTEC convention committee. “We are delighted that the expanded English-language programme on Modern Workplace Learning was also very well received.” One of the convention’s highlights was the keynote address by Dr. Frithjof Netzer, Senior Vice President BASF SE, who spoke on “Education for Digitization”.

Conferral of important e-learning awards

The eLearningCHECK and the delina Innovation Award honoured outstanding achievements by providers and developers of e-learning solutions. In close cooperation with Bitkom, the delina was awarded at LEARNTEC in all four categories. For the first time, it was also conferred at LEARNTEC in the category of “Early Childhood Education and School”. The first prize was awarded to KIDS interactive GmbH for its SWE-App Tour, an interactive scavenger hunt. Among the laudatory speakers presenting the awards was Dirk Röhrborn, who is a member of the presidium of Bitkom e.V., which is LEARNTEC’s longstanding conceptual sponsor.

Start-up Area promotes young talents in the industry

At the Start-up Area, which was again enlarged compared to last year’s size, 28 young and innovative companies presented themselves at a joint stand sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. The various start-up companies competed against one other on their own designated stage. The start-up re:edu, which emerged as one of the winners of the pitch, expressed enthusiasm about its participation at LEARNTEC: “It is a tremendous opportunity for us to take our first steps in the market here at LEARNTEC. We were able to make many new contacts with people in the university sector and to learn a great deal from others”, says re:edu’s co-founder Jan Wirwahn.

LEARNTEC 2019 also convinced longstanding exhibitors, for example, goodhabitz: “Our stand was well frequented right from the start. The quantity and quality of visitors have increased once again compared to last year”, notes goodhabitz’s CCO Erik Crezee. “We have already booked our stand for next year’s LEARNTEC. Christian Wachter, CEO of imc AG, says: “LEARNTEC 2019 is a complete success for imc AG, and we are pleased that we have been a part of LEARNTEC for many years. We have made many new contacts with both national and international interested parties. We are already looking forward to the next LEARNTEC.” Mr. Wachter is by no means alone: 90% of the available exhibition spaces at LEARNTEC 2020 have already been allocated.

The next LEARNTEC will return to Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 28 to 30 January 2020.

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