On Thursday 18th and Friday 19th of May we hosted a variety of activities: two key notes, multiple workshops, a round table discussion, two high density sessions and two traditional paper sessions. The program topics ranged from cognitive science to ‘liquid media’, from media pedagogical approaches to practical examples of media courses, academic learning outcome vs real world qualifications, mediaclusters as learning environment, how to get students learning, sharing and creating, and students’ role perceptions. This was the conference program.

Click here for an overview of the presentations and here for pictures and video’s of the conference.

Key notes:

Thursday 10:00 Max Louwerse:  From research to education, from cognitive science to media

Academic research may sometimes seem like an ivory tower enterprise, but is often very much applied. This presentation will give a number of research examples whereby the academic findings may seem to be detached from applied settings, but are not. More specifically, the presentation will focus on the research (and education) conducted in the DAF Technology Lab, a virtual and mixed reality lab on the Tilburg University campus based on immersive education, interdisciplinary research and corporate partnerships. In one of the projects in the lab we are investigating whether the success of training can be predicted from human behavior in order to make smarter educational systems.

Friday 10:00. Mark Deuze: Media Life and Work as a Challenge to Media Education

We live in media. Media are to us as water is to fish. The ubiquitous and pervasive nature of contemporary media does not mean people’s lives are determined by technology, but it certainly should suggest that our understanding of society and the role of media (and media education) in it must start with an appreciation of the profound mediatization of everyday life and the lifeworld (the world we experience) (Deuze, 2014). As more aspects of our everyday life get played out in and across media, and media become foundational to our functioning as consumers, citizens, professionals, and players – as we hopefully become able to transform from a mere workers (homo faber) to players (homo ludens) with media and information (Flusser 1990: 399). Such a playful rendering of our digital competences needs to be considered in the context of profound global trends toward more complexity and precarity in everyday life. Our role in this deeply mediatized world (Couldry & Hepp 2016) is to find biographical solutions to systemic contradictions (Beck 1992: 137). The process toward a more complex, precarious and individualized media life (Deuze 2012) poses fascinating challenges for media education. In this paper, I outline key contextual trends and discuss possible approaches in teaching and pedagogy with a focus on teaching for media (next to about media), on teaching entrepreneurialism in terms of using media to challenge and change the taken-for-grantedness of the everyday, and on teaching (transmedia) storytelling as a particular form of read/write multimedia literacy (Hartley 2007).


Max M. Louwerse is Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University. He received his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, and was Full Professor in Psychology and Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, where he also served as Director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems. He published over 120 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings on a diversity of topics, including intelligent tutoring systems, embodied conversational agents, multimodal communication, verbal and nonverbal communication, symbolic and embodied cognition, and language statistics. Louwerse is initiator and principal investigator of the DAF Technology Lab, a virtual and mixed reality lab for immersive education, innovative research and corporate partnerships. He received over 12 million euro in funding as a PI or Co-PI on projects investigating training in virtual and mixed reality (European Union, OP Zuid), multimodal communication in humans and agents (National Science Foundation), intelligent tutoring systems (NSF, DoD), electronic health record systems and medical informatics (NIH) and distributional semantics (US Intelligence Community). He served as president, treasurer and governing board member on international societies and serves on editorial boards of various journals in psychology, linguistics, and cognitive science. Louwerse holds a patent with another patent pending, and has received awards for his teaching and research. He currently works on a project with a European bank on user profiling and with 33 small and medium-sized companies on a consortium investigating smart industry, including virtual reality, and is one of the founding fathers of Mind Labs, a research consortium on interactive technologies and behavior.

Mark Deuze is Professor of Media Studies, specializing in Journalism at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Humanities. From 2004 to 2013 he worked at Indiana University’s Department of Telecommunications in Bloomington, United States. Publications of his work include over ninety papers in academic journals and books, including the monographs “Media Work” (Polity Press, 2007) and “Media Life” (Polity Press, 2012). Forthcoming book: “Beyond Journalism” (Polity Press, 2018; with Tamara Witschge). Deuze’s work has been translated in Chinese, Czech, German, Portuguese, Greek, and Hungarian. He has received a Donald W. Reynolds Fellowship from the Missouri School of Journalism, a visiting Research Fellowship at the Center for International Communications Research of the University of Leeds in the UK, and a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Weblog: E-mail: He is also the bass player of post-punk band Skinflower.