Remembering Erik Duval

9708duvalAfter a long battle with lymphoma, Erik Duval passed away this month. Those who knew him online, offline, peripherally or closely connected, will remember a genuinely kind person, an inquisitive mind and an open spirit. His personality, his research and his teaching have left pearls in the educational technology community that we will treasure and carry into the future.

Erik Duval was a professor at the computer science department of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He was involved with AACE and ED-MEDIA since the very start of the conference series and served as Chair of the Steering Committee, a presenter, keynote and invited speaker. He authored numerous papers in AACE publications and edited several special issues of AACE journals. In 2005, AACE recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Erik Duval with an AACE Fellowship Award.

Erik was excited about the potential of Web 2.0 and social networks to create personal learning environments: “In the same way that all snowflakes in a snowstorm are unique, each user has her specific characteristics, restrictions and interests” (Duval, 2008). In the area of the open educational resources, he worked on open metadata and standards, and co-founded the not-for-profit ARIADNE Foundation that promotes the sharing and reuse of learning material. Always passionate about the power of information visualization, lately, his research focused on Learning Analytics.

Many in the AACE community have met Erik at conferences, attended his keynote talks or served with him on committees. I particularly remember attending his keynote talk ‘The importance of being open’ at the 2011 EdMedia conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Our hearts go out to his friends and family. To honor Erik, contemplate the importance of being open to ideas and learning activities, sharing, and more – as researchers, developers, teachers, learners and as people.

Thank you, Erik.

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