2014 Shanghai International Conference on Ubiquitous Learning

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Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies

Date: 30 – 31 May, 2014
Venue: Guoshun Campus, Shanghai Open University

Organized by:
Shanghai Open University
UNESCO Chair in ODL in East Asia

Supported by:
Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

Official Website: http://2014conference.sou.edu.cn

Conference Background

The rapid development of information and communication technologies is now promoting economic and social transformation, turning the world into an information, knowledge, globalized and lifelong learning society. The integration of education and technology pushes education at all levels and higher education in particular to be open, flexible, inclusive, and lifelong, which has increasingly become a trend of educational reform and innovation in many countries. The open universities, featured by such conceptions, will surely play an essential role in the future education development.

Under support and guidance of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, Shanghai Open University (the former Shanghai TV University), in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair holder in ODL in East Asia, hopes to provide an international platform for policy makers, academicians and practitioners to share ideas, innovations, practices and facing challenges and opportunities on Ubiquitous Learning.

Conference Theme

The advance of educational technologies helps realize the dream of Ubiquitous Learning, a model of learning which can be accessed in different contexts and situations, enabling anyone to learn through affordable mobile devices anything, at anytime and anywhere. Ubiquitous Learning has distinct advantages on the development of individualized learning environment, the share of education resources, and the reform of education models. It’s also an ideal and powerful strategy for promoting education equity, citizen’s self-cultivation and for the development of learning society.

The conference theme will, therefore, focus on “Ubiquitous Learning: Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies”,

Following Subthemes in parallel sessions will also be organized focusing on interesting and particular topics:

  • MOOCs and Ubiquitous Learning
  • Big Data, Cloud Computing and Ubiquitous Learning
  • Micro-Course and Mobile Learning
  • Learning Outcome Assessment and Ubiquitous Learning

Keynote Speakers

Christopher DEDE

Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies
Technology, Innovation, and Education Program
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.  His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership.  His funded research includes five grants from NSF and the Gates Foundation to design and study immersive simulations, transformed social interactions, and online professional development.   In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. His latest co-edited book, Digital Teaching Platforms, was published by Teachers College Press in 2012.

Keynote Speech: The Future of Digital Learning in Higher Education
Advances in technology and in knowledge about expertise, learning, and assessment have the potential to reshape higher education. In the next decade, colleges and universities can leverage models based on emerging technologies that make learning more efficient and improve student support, all at lower cost for a broader range of learners. In particular, "massive" learning experiences present unique opportunities and challenges, especially if they move beyond simple MOOCs based on presentational/assimilative pedagogies.



Professor for Advanced Learning Technologies
Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC)
Open University of the Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Marcus Specht is Professor for Advanced Learning Technologies at Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies at the Open University of the Netherlands and director of the Learning Innovation Labs. He received his Diploma in Psychology in 1995 and a Dissertation from the University of Trier in 1998 on adaptive information technology. From 1998 until 2001 he worked as senior researcher at the GMD research center on HCI and mobile information technology. From 2001 he headed the department "Mobile Knowledge" at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT).

He is currently involved in several national and international research projects on competence based lifelong learning, personalized information support and contextualized and mobile learning. His research focus is on Mobile and Contextualized Learning Technologies, Learning Network Services, and Social and Immersive Media for Learning. Prof. Specht is a member of ACM, IEEE, the SIKS and ICO research schools in the Netherlands and is an Apple Distinguished Educator. Since 2013 he is President of the International Association for Mobile Learning.

Keynote Speech: Personal Seamless Learning Technologies
Abstract: Seamless technologies are with us everyday. We use personal technologies that link our physical reality and environment with digital friends, media, social contexts. Sensor technology, ambient displays and augmented reality will broaden our current understanding of mobile learning towards a vision of embedded and ubiquitous learning support with technology. Some key components of learning are curiosity, focus, flow, endurance, or the framing of new knowledge in relation to earlier experiences and knowledge. Personal Seamless Learning Technologies enable some of these but they also hinder some of these. The keynote will give some ideas on how to design seamless learning technologies in a mindful way to enable focus, avoid distraction, foster endurance and curiosity, or enable framing of experiences.


YANG Zhijian

The Open University of China

Yang Zhijian is currently President of the Open University of China, President of China Association of Educational Technology (CAET) and Vice President of China Association of Legal Education. He is now on the ICDE Executive Board. He received his doctorate degree in education from Peking University.

Since being appointed as President of China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU) in July, 2010, Yang Zhijian has been proactively and vigorously promoting the strategic transformation of China Radio and TV Universities, following closely the recent development in distance education and modern information technology worldwide as well as taking China’s own circumstances into consideration. In June 2012, the establishment of the Open University of China (OUC) was officially approved by the Chinese government and Dr. Yang Zhijian was appointed as President of OUC.

Previously, he had been engaged in general administration of higher education in the Ministry of Education (MOE) of China since 1983. He served as Deputy Director of Liberal Arts Division, Director of Finance, Political Studies and Law Division, Deputy Director-General of Department of Higher Education of MOE. He contributed to drafting some of the important laws, regulations and documents, including Higher Education Law of the People’s Republic of China, Outline of China’s National Plan for Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020), Reform Plan of Teaching Content and Curriculum in Higher Education for 21st Century, Teaching Reform Project of Higher Education in the New Century, Project of Teaching Quality and Teaching Reform in Undergraduate Education, Action Plan for Invigorating Colleges and Universities in the Middle and West Regions of China. Moreover, he proactively facilitated the implementation of the relevant projects and tasks.



President of Shanghai Distance Education Group
President of Shanghai Open University

Jiang Hong, B.Eng. and M.S., is President of Shanghai Distance Education Group and Shanghai Open University (the former Shanghai TV University). He has been a teacher for 13 years in China Textile University and holder of Deputy Director of the Engineering Department in the same University. Then served as Director of Equipment Department, Director of Science and Technology Department, Deputy Secretary-General, and Secretary-General, he has worked at Shanghai Municipal Education Commission for 17 years. Based on his management practices, Prof. Jiang Hong has made significant achievements in his interested research areas in education and management of science and technology. Of his research projects, three were awarded the prizes of “Shanghai Science and Technology Progress Award” by Shanghai Municipal government and two received the prizes for “Excellent Soft Research Subjects Achievement” issued by the State Intellectual Property Office.


CHENG Jiangang

PhD, Professor
Academic leader of Educational Technology, Institute of Education, Tsinghua University
Deputy Director of Academic Committee, China Association for Educational Technology

Prof. Cheng Jiangang got his PhD in 1995. Since then, he has been engaged in research of educational technology and educational software for many years. He’s now in charge of postgraduate students and academic construction of educational technology in Tsinghua University.

He served as Deputy Dean of Department of Engineering Mechanics (the current School of Aerospace Engineering), Executive Deputy Director of Educational Technology Center and Executive Deputy Director of Educational Technology Institute in Tsinghua University. He is currently team-leader of Educational Software Expert Committee of Ministry of Science and Technology, and member of Chinese Educational Technology Association in Higher Education.

His research interests focus on theory and practice of E-Campus, model and system of online teaching, resource construction and implementation of digital education, as well as application of knowledge management in information technology of higher education.

Keynote Speech: Re-assessing Ubiquitous Learning from the Perspective of Human Learning rather than Technology: A Research Framework and the Application of preliminary findings
Abstract: Current studies on ubiquitous learning focus more on the impact of distributed computing and mobile technologies on learning. This presentation first re-evaluates the significance, meaning and key characteristics of ubiquitous learning from the perspective that learning approaches change over time. Then it systematically reviews ubiquitous learning in terms of its theoretical foundation, learning models, learning resources, technical architecture and key technologies, practical strategies, deployment of learning environment, and learning support, standards and specifications On the basis of this analysis, this research proposes a framework for ubiquitous learning research and discusses the application of some preliminary findings.

Provisional Schedule

The conference will highlight grass-root developments from perspective of open universities, and collect good practices from Shanghai as well as the outside world. Through diversified activities such as high-level keynotes, parallel sessions, expert interactions, case studies and onsite visit, it aims to be successfully concluded with rich and practical outcomes. The provisional schedule is as follows:

30 May (Friday)


9:00-9:30 Opening Ceremony
9:30-9:50 Coffee break
9:50-11:20 Keynote Speech Iby Prof. Chris Dede, Harvard University
11:20-12:00 Keynote Speech IIby Prof. Yang Zhijian, Open University of China
12:00-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:10 Keynote Speech IIIby Prof. Jiang Hong, Shanghai Open University
14:10-14:50 Keynote Speech IVby Prof. Marcus Specht, Open University of the Netherlands
14:50-15:10 Coffee break
15:10-15:50 Keynote Speech Vby Prof. Cheng Jiangang, Tsinghua University
15:50-16:30 Visit to Digital Laboratory for Open Learning

31 May (Saturday)



UNESCO Chair’s Parallel Sessions:

  • MOOCs and Ubiquitous Learning
  • Big Data, Cloud Computing and Ubiquitous Learning
  • Micro-Course and Mobile Learning
  • Learning Outcome Assessment and Ubiquitous Learning


11:00-11:20 Coffee break
11:20-12:00 Closing Ceremony
12:00-13:30 Lunch
13:30-17:00 Onsite Visit: Ubiquitous Learning in Shanghai



The conference is expected to attract more than 200 national as well as foreign delegates. It will be a unique opportunity for scholars, researchers, practisionors, education administrators and policymakers engaged in the field of open, distance and flexible learning, to discuss latest developments, explore fresh innovations, and share best practices about Ubiquitous Learning.

Call for Papers

All the participants are encouraged to bring academic contributions related to the conference themes. Participants are invited to submit their papers/case reports (no more than 3000 words) in English through the secretariat before 30 April 2014

All the papers will be reviewed and selected by the Expert Committee for presentation, and the excellent ones will be published in the conference proceedings.

Conference Languages

The official languages of conference are Chinese and English, with simultaneous interpretation available at plenary sessions.

Contact Us

For Domestic Participants

For International Participants


Ms. ZHA Wenying

Ms. WENG Zhuhua (Call for Papers)

Mr. WEI Qi

Ms. XUE Xiaojie




















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4F Learning World Plaza, No.288 Guoshun Road, Shanghai China
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