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Xavier Prats-Monné, the Deputy-Director General for Education at the European Commission:

I would like to congratulate the Irish Learning Technology Association for organising “EdTech2013: Opening Up Education – Content, Learning and Collaboration”.

The theme of the Conference, held during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, is of key importance for all of us. Globalisation and technological development are radically changing the landscape of higher education. Technology has the potential to widen access to education, but also to open up the curriculum to knowledge, materials and pedagogies from all over the world and create connections across disciplines and faculties that would otherwise be difficult to establish; but we need to understand better this potential.

The European Commission is determined to support the fundamental educational shift needed in Europe to provide students and teachers with the right skills for the 21st century.  We plan to do so with a new initiative entitled precisely “Opening up Education”, aiming to enhance the development of Open Education Resources and ICTs, to encourage innovative ways of teaching and learning, and to support the modernisation of education systems in Europe.

We hope that EdTech 2013  will contribute to the debate around the opportunities and challenges of technology-enhanced learning in order to respond to the changes needed in the Irish education context, and beyond.

I hope that your participants will have wonderful and productive gathering at EdTech2013, and look forward to learning about the outcomes of the Conference.