The IATELS Board and Academic Committee of ICLTE 2023 are honoured to be in a close association with Dr. Piet Kommers (University of Twente, Netherlands) who has been one of the main contributors, motivators and support to IATELS and its main events:

Being an early pioneer in media for cognitive and social support, the name of Piet Kommers is known all round the world for his devotion to education, highlighting constructivism as a leading paradigm of modern learning and a crucial role of innovations conditioned by the implementation of social media, ICT and artificial intelligence of nowadays.

His main thesis is that technology is catalytic for human ambition and awareness.

Since 1982 he has been developing educational technology for teachers’ training and have already practiced his approaches and techniques in different countries of the world, including Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, India, Netherlands, Australia, Spain and many others.

Piet instigated and coordinated the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Cognitive Technologies in 1990 and a large series of Joint European Research Projects in: authoring multimedia, web-based learning, teacher education, virtual 3d worlds, constructivist learning, social media, web-based communities and international student exchange.

UNESCO awarded his work in ICT for Education in Eastern Europe with the title of Honorary Professor. The Capital Normal University in Beijing awarded his work with the title of Honorary Doctor. He is member of advisory boards in ministries of education and academia of sciences in a number of countries.

His workshop templates and experiences have been implemented into the UNESCO IITE reports, policy briefings and Master Course. The books and journal articles of Piet Kommers reach the level of 5012 citations and the h-index of 30.

The Five Goals laid out below have been the leading theme in Kommers’ workshops for the last four decades.

Five Goals for Equity through ICT in Education

In order to empower teachers in deprived areas the next five main goals became explicit in the battle for more fair education and equity in students’ chance for a good future :

  1. Make teachers aware that more effective education is not merely a matter of knowledge and skills; Attitudes like curiosity, self-regulation and self-efficacy are key for becoming better teachers/learners and raise the desire for life-long learning instead of just gaining certification.
  2. Understand that diversity and inclusiveness are crucial values for a sustainable learning climate; In cooperative learning the merit is not just the students who learn form co-students. Even more impact is the student who learns by tutoring younger co-students: “Those who teach, they learn.”
  3. Learning is not the goal in life; community development, safety, tolerance and peace need learning. Quite often, successful students leave their village for urban societies, leaving behind the families who need them desperately. In other words: Education needs to be oriented towards empowering the local community. This implies that teachers, parents and students need to orient towards societal and economical goals and contextualize curricula accordingly.
  4. Education is not just a process of transferring expertise from the elderly to the younger generation; Good education accepts the challenge to co-design a better future.    
  5. The search for more effective / pleasurable learning manifests in the intersections of the three zones: Learning, Playing, Working. While the intersections learning-playing and learning-working have been articulated before, the interaction working-playing has been ignored up to recently. Piet Kommers’ workshops have gained world-wide attention at the aspect of how the 21st century skills demand clearer conceptions on how the media help us to prepare for more effective job apprehension through a playful mindset; Life-long learners develop the “willingness to change oneself.” Playing (in contrast to gaming) is not intending to win; It is the readiness to let new, more accurate knowledge, and leave the comfort zone and enter the unknown. 

The penal speech at ICLTE 2023 by Piet Kommers is titled as STEAM and AI for Vitalizing Education. Its abstract is presented below.


As ‘social capital’ becomes more vital in job markets and economical evolution, we see social media take a pivotal position in youngsters’ awareness of values and existential ambitions.

Education is the default process where societal values become explicit and integrated in the spectrum of intellectual skills through the most sensitive stage of secondary education and adolescence.

This lecture exposes the recent projects by the United Nations, World Bank and European Union on how Artificial Intelligence boasts upon its vigilance, agility, ubiquity, and its genericity, while humanitarian needs, e.g. in education and care, shift towards value-driven ontologies year by year.

Based upon such recent trends as STEAM, (the thematic integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), we may expect a thorough reorientation towards more meaningful and more passionate genres of education.

Not only will learners become skilled to operate tools like Chat-GPT; it will enforce them to excel their learning strategies like meta-cognitive skills, conceptual thinking and most of all, prove that the acquired expertise allows them to make contributions to the actual states of understanding as transpired through curricula.

This is the real challenge to be taken both by education and societal sectors at large.

It is the role of policy makers to sense the need for the coming transformations and support secondary and higher education in its attempts to target creative rather than reproductive scholars who envision a prestigious role in future societies, where intellect exceeds the static representations like factual memory and procedural templates.

It will be human intuition and moral dedication that keep economies and human communities vital, safe and pro-active. 

The pragmatic aspects of STEAM in Secondary and Higher Education has been highlighted in the EduSimSteam Project, as can be found here EDUSIMSTEAM Supports ICLTE2023

EU ProjectsSkillabilityNeWorkEduSimSteamPower of CreativityEmoRoboDbiasFitPed

The reference to Piet Kommer’s recent book can be found at the link Sources for a Better Education