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CUC 2011 - All Roads Lead to the Internet

The 13th annual CARNet Users Conference - CUC 2011, under the title "All roads lead to the Internet" was held from 14 to 16 November 2011 on the Trsat Campus of the University of Rijeka. The conference was organised by the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet, under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Ivo Josipović, and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. That all roads really do lead to the Internet was confirmed by the conference programme divided into six thematic units, with five keynote lectures, 12 workshops, 77 presentations and one round table. Continuing with the tradition, once again CUC offered its participants the opportunity to hear some of the most respectable experts in the field of IT communication technologies. Lectures were held by five keynote speakers. Prof. dr. sc. Pero Lučin, President of the University of Rijeka, held a keynote lecture on the subject of the "New World of Learning – Croatia 2020", discussing the changes that occur in the human brain and the process of education, as well as in the society and in educational systems as a whole, under the influence of a rapid development of technology. George Siemens, researcher and Head of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at the Athabasca University in Canada and creator of the theory of connectivism discussed in his lecture "Learning in complex knowledge spaces" the development of social networks and the changes in the relationship between the roles of the student and teacher, as well as newly developed pedagogical ideas. Dr. Jim Ptaszynski, Senior Director of World Wide Higher Education Strategy at Microsoft, explained with his lecture "University of the Future" the need for an increasingly better technology integration in education, as support for achieving competitiveness of educational institutions. Ivan Maglić, regional director at the Gartner Adriatic/Calisto Agency, with his keynote lecture "Smart Education – the Future that is Already Here" presented the results of Gartner's research on the application of educational technology, and the fifth lecture was held by CARNet CEO Zvonimir Stanić, on the subject of "21 years of CARNet". The Conference was traditionally accompanied by the Webfestival - a competition of web content authors. The topic of this year's Webfestival was the application of social software tools in education. In the category "Friends around the desk", the expert panel of judges selected between 18 educational contents and awarded the first prize to a Research Project from the subject of fine arts by Kristina Rismondo, a student of the XVth High School in Zagreb. The second prize was awarded to the Geographic map with a purpose by Vesna Janko, a student of 2nd Primary School in Bjelovar, whereas the third prize went to the 1.b class webpage created by Sandra Vuk, a student of August Šenoa Primary School in Zagreb. According to the votes of the audience, which awarded it 446 "likes", the best and the most social educational contents out of the 18 that were submitted, in the category "Surf and learn", was the Moja matura Portal (My Final Exam Portal) created by a group of authors represented by Ms. Sonja Lušić Radošević, a teacher of mathematics and IT. CUC 2011 also included a CMS competition entitled "Spruce up the Web" for all primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia which have their own websites, by using the CARNet CMS system. In the Primary schools category the winners were: the first prize – Visoka Primary School; the second prize – Nikola Tesla Primary School from Mirkovci and the third prize – Veliko Trojstvo Primary School. The winners of the secondary schools category were: 1st prize - Duga Resa Secondary School; 2nd prize - Private Economics and Informatics School, and the 3rd prize - Private language and informatics school Svijet. In the category of The Most Spruced up Club, the winner was the Slavko Kolar Primary School from Hercegovac, and the special commendation awarded by the CMS development team for an exceptionally advanced and creative approach in creation of a school website visual identity was given to the Duga Resa Secondary School.

This year's Conference was marked by cooperation with Rijeka University and Microsoft Croatia in the organisation of an exclusive international gathering - the Academic Summit, which was held on Monday and Tuesday, 14 and 15 November. The Summit gathered about fifty representatives of higher education institutions from Central and Eastern European countries, primarily university rectors and prorectors, as well as representatives of competent ministries and leaders of government agencies responsible for higher education. Another novelty of this year's CUC was the cooperation of CARNet and the Media Research journal and the Croatian Journal of Education. Based on the proposal of the CUC 2011 Programme Committee, and in conformity with the editorial policy of the aforementioned journals, several of the best papers will be published in one of their following issues. Original research and technical papers may enter the selection.

The Conference was attended by 450 accredited participants, and a video link on the CARNet Media on Demand made lectures accessible to those who were unable to attend the Conference. The official language of the Conference was Croatian, and the lectures of foreign lecturers were held in English.

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