Synopsis Professorial Lecture
The amount of information that is online and potentially relevant to lifelong learners is enormous. Finding, selecting and judging relevant online content are important competencies in a world where lifelong learning is becoming a must. In practice, online content is the subject of cultural filtering, arising from culturally-determined design features such as browsers, commercial search engines and intellectual property protected software. Local knowledge becomes more vulnerable and less easy to find on the web. Cultural filtering may affect the mind-map of e-learners and diminish the independence of their opinions in school, university or the workplace. This presentation highlights the importance of cultural inclusiveness of online content and its implications for policymaking and ethical issues. Promising initiatives to safeguard cultural inclusiveness through weblogs, open source, minority languages tools, semantic web, and personalisation options will be discussed.
The intensive debate in the small expert group of the symposium (25 participants) and in the Round Table (35 participants) will lead to hands-on recommendations for policymakers and practitioners in the area of lifelong e-learning. Though the number of participants is limited, the outcomes will be published and available to a large scale audience and will be an integral part of the final report of the European FILTER project. The participants will receive the full report afterwards.