Adriatic Education Development Research & Innovation Symposium 7-9 July 2022 / Split, Croatia

Powered by Erasmus KA2 projects

ADRIES 2022 is brought to you by two Erasmus KA2 projects for the the development of innovation in language education: Virtual Reality for Language Learning (VR4LL, project no. 2019-1-HR01-KA204-060781) – development of VR technology for language learning & Next Generation Placement Tests (NGPT, project no. 2020-1-HR01-KA204-077724) – development of adaptive digital placement tests for languages


Bryan Crosswhite

Brian is the CEO of XRGlobal, a leader in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology. Bryan has been working in the global education field for 28 years, with his company bringing education in agriculture, STEM, FinTech, energy, construction and military to the most remote areas of the world. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Bryan is a Meta expert who has spoken at Disruptive Agricultural Technology innovation conferences in Seoul (Korea), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Cape Town (South Africa). He also recently presented at the Global World Bank Conference on Hydro-informatics. XRGlobal is based in Cape town with locations in Kigali (Rwanda) and Maputo (Mozambique).

The Power of Virtual Reality in Education

A number of studies show that the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in training boosts both engagement and knowledge retention, enabling educational organizations to enforce consistent and measurable standards on a large scale. With the implementation of multi-user Virtual Reality environment (Metaverse), we are now discovering ways to ensure more efficient acquisition of new skills and competences in remote "live" education. With this innovative technology, schools are able to reduce the time spent in traditional classrooms, provide digitalization of materials and entire curricula to their students, while at the same time reducing the overall costs of education processes. With the rise of Metaverse, the term "Equality in Education" is finally becoming a reality around the world. 

Dr. John Rogosic

John is a passionate innovator in the field of education and a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the FIRST robotics organization. Having completed his university studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), John holds dual Bachelors of Science degrees in the fields of Comparative Media Studies and Materials Science and Engineering, in addition to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. Although his PhD research focused primarily in the area of electrochemistry, John’s 15-year teaching career has spanned the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, design, and robotics. John has recently relocated to Croatia, where he has founded the Split International School, the first school to bring international English-language education to Dalmatia.

Robotics as a vehicle for learning

Educational robotics is a field which has grown dramatically over the last 50 years. Originally a specialization in university-level mechanical engineering programs, robotics programs now permeate the educational landscape from the kindergarten level through adult education programs and community initiatives. Robotics provide a vehicle not only for STEM concepts related to engineering, but for developing programming language proficiencies and broader communication skills in teenagers and adults alike. New technologies such as simulation and VR have elevated the field, allowing learners to engage with each other and the environment in new and exciting ways.

Armando Matijević

As a Founder and CEO of SplitX, Armando is on the mission to create the most unique Global Tech Hub combining the frontier tech and ideal environment of his hometown Split, Croatia. As an engineer with technical background, his skillset is augmented with the extensive set of soft skills and business know-how he fostered throughout years working with startups in Canada, Silicon Valley, and his hometown. SplitX’s global community is most prevalent throughout XR/Web3 industry, and Armando serves as a community facilitator. Armando now builds startups through SplitX’s venture building model - creating high-potential startups such as Regula, EnamelOne, Villa Week, and others. He’s also a business mentor to a rockstar startup founder from Argentina, Marcos Bruno - a serial entrepreneur, astronaut-in-training, and rocket scientist.

Future of work and education through the lens of frontier tech

Every technology shift brings challenges and immense opportunities at achieving better productivity. We take you on a journey of web1.0 to the current Metaverse frenzy, researching how we adapted to all these technologies that made our lives better. What does it take to fully adopt and prepare for the future of work and education? Let’s find out in the keynote speech.

Miloš Jeremić

Miloš is philosophy teacher who is engaged in methodic problems of teaching and education. His approach in teaching is holistic student-centered learning and his work is mainly focused on critical thinking as a tool to motivate teachers, parents, students and all stakeholders in educational process. He is the author of authentic approach in education for critical thinking and his method is well adopted in France, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, Russia, Spain, UK, Germany, Poland and Iran. Miloš is also the author of a philosophy syllabus for high schools in Serbia, with methodical articles published in UK and Croatia.

If Socrates was a foreign language teacher

This workshop will engage participants in the ancient wisdom of proposing the right questions in order to deal with the metacognition and communication with others using critical thinking. Method is originally Socratic, but adapted for bigger group of participants. It is beneficial for foreign language teaching because it provokes students to think critically. But first, teachers need to cope with themselves in order to be prepared to introduce critical thinking in their daily practice.

Principles which will be followed in this workshop are:

  • Everything that is happening during the workshop is a real thing, not a preparation for real life or an imitation of life
  • The workshop is guided as agenda, not as a debate.
  • Participants are free to talk about their ideas and about things they don’t understand.
  • Everything that happens during workshop should be an object of inquiry and stimulus for agenda.
  • Participants are encouraged to listen to each other.
  • All participants should be participating in the workshop.
  • Facilitator is enforcing yes/no answers during the workshop.
  • Participant shouldn’t be able to determine speaker's opinion about discussed object.

Joanna Morrison Jones

Joanna has been working in EFL teaching and training since 2003; she has taught lots of different learners in Italy and has been working as an examiner for many years. She is currently Didactic and Training Manager at the British School Pisa, responsible for course creation and management, as well as all aspects of training across the whole British School Pisa Group.

Next Generation Placement Tests – a new approach to an old problem

How does the Next Generation Placement Test deliver a new approach and why is it necessary?  Working together as part of a multinational team on this Erasmus project has allowed us to create a truly innovative and functional placement test.   We know that within language schools and training institutions the placement test is an essential tool, it is often the first thing that students do when they contact a school. We also know that a standardized 50 question grammar test can be demoralizing and confusing.  The NGPT project aims to reframe this experience so that students do a test that places them accurately but without the stress.  This test is different because it is adaptive, the computer algorithms choose questions based on the students responses, there are no questions which are way above the students level or ability.

Joanna Paolinelli

Joanna Paolinelli is a Director of economic development and innovations at the British School Pisa srl and is the AISLi (Associazione Italiana di Lingue) academic coordinator. She is particularly interested in using her experience, technology and new ideas to ensure that learning and teaching English are accessible to all. Her teaching combines digital technology and innovative methodologies in order to make the classroom a place where everyone can learn. Joanna has an MSC in psychological research methods, a Masters in Educational Psychology and is also a qualified Italian dyslexia association (AID) tutor. She is a teacher trainer and speaker on inclusive teaching. She regularly collaborates with book publishers and exam boards on the problems that dyslexia can cause in language learning. Joanna divides her time between working with students with special needs, creating methodology courses, training teachers and travelling all over Italy to work with Italian state school teachers on teaching methodologies and students with dyslexia. Her training sessions on innovations and methodologies are aimed at making education more inclusive, flexible and exciting.

Learning differences, inclusion and creating an environment where learning can take place

The session will be looking at the real issues that students with dyslexia have and how we can increase inclusion by supporting them and giving them the tools they need to reach their objectives.   We will be looking at different methodologies and classroom ideas all aimed at motivating students with dyslexia, whilst at the same time helping them to improve their English and prepare for exams. Joanna will also give ideas of how  to create an environment where learning can take place. An environment that motivates students, using collaborative, experiential and task based learning, total physical response and addressing how new technologies such as virtual reality can help to make the classroom a place where ALL students can learn.

Paola Giuliani

Paola Giuliani has comprehensive experience in the ELT world. After working extensively as an EFL teacher and a certification board examiner, she opened and managed a successful language school which was among the first LanguageCert Test Centres operating in Italy. In 2021, Paola enthusiastically joined LanguageCert as the company’s Business Development Manager for Italy and Malta. She loves music, especially rock and jazz, and the sea.

Test takers' attitudes and reactions to the online proctoring of high stakes examinations

In line with technological advances, the past decade has seen a very significant increase in online teaching – a phenomenon accelerated in 2020 during the pandemic – and consequently in online assessment.
In a context of mobility and accessibility, this presentation is based on a survey carried out among former LanguageCert candidates in order to collect their impressions concerning their experience of online monitoring (OLP), in the context of issuing high stakes English exams. We will consider questions such as:

  • What are the challenges and benefits of face-to-face and online assessment solutions, in terms of accessibility, fairness, security and cheating?
  • What are the reactions and perceptions of the OLP by candidates who have taken the LanguageCert English exams via online proctoring?
  •  What is the future of online assessment?

Mihai Laurențiu Gânj

Mihai Laurențiu Gânj, Entrepreneur and Educator, with more than 20 years experience in setting up companies, developing brands in education and taking them to an international level. He served as a member of the IHWO Executive Board in London for 6 years and has contributed to a good extent to the overall strategy of this leading international organization, dealing with more than 150 centers in 52 countries. He is a Balanced Scorecard Strategy Management System Certified Implementer, one of the most effective systems to develop and manage and organizational strategy.

Adults and the Digital World: how can we build a healthy relationship with our digital world and technology

The European Skills Agenda from the European Commission sets a clear objective: over the next five years, Europe should see 230 million adults with basic digital skills, which would represent a 25% increase compared to the present figures.

Digital technology is changing people’s lives. The EU’s digital strategy aims to make this transformation work for people and businesses. This conference-workshop will propose an exploration of possible answers to the following questions:

  • What are the fundamental conditions that will ensure a healthy relationship between us, as adult human beings, and the digital world and its technology?
  • How do we score on the overall ability of using the technology in a healthy way, i.e. in a manner that doesn’t affect our mental, emotional and physical health?
  • Are there scientifically proven guidelines and practices that all adults should know about?

Nick Bilbrough

Nick Bilbrough has been involved in language teaching for over twenty-five years, and has taught in three continents in a wide range of interesting and challenging contexts. He holds an MA in Drama in Education and is particularly interested in the role of drama and storytelling techniques in second language learning.
He is the author of two resource books in the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series: Dialogue Activities (2007) and Memory Activities for Language Learning (2011), as well as Stories Alive, a free resource book of story based activities for young learners, published by British Council Palestine.
Most of his time and energy is devoted to the registered charity he established, The Hands Up Project – teaching English through online storytelling and drama activities to disadvantaged children in Palestine and Jordan.

Totally groovy physical responses, man!

Total Physical Response (TPR) is sometimes viewed as a fringe approach to language learning which, along with crochet dresses and bell bottoms, should be destined to the dustbin of the 1970’s. In this workshop I’d like to explore how, on the contrary, it is not only a key driver of learning through VR, but also how its principles are right at the heart of all good language learning. I’ll look at practical  applications for students of all learning preferences, at all levels, and of all ages.

Jonathan Dykes

Jonathan has spent most of his professional life in language school management. He founded Net Languages, a Web-based language school, and he was also co-founder of Green Standard Schools, an association of schools committed to protecting the environment.  VR4LL is one of several Erasmus projects he is currently working on.

He is a frequent presenter at ELT Conferences and occasionally writes about language teaching management issues on

Virtual Reality for Language Learners

Until now, most of the VR materials that have been developed to aid language learners have been designed with individual students in mind. Typically, the student will enter a virtual version of a real-life location (a hotel, restaurant, station, or similar) and interact with an avatar or other content to be found in the virtual environment. While not without its usefulness, such activities tend to be very proscribed and focus on practising specific expressions, or simple language items they might be useful in each situation. The VR4LL project has deliberately taken an entirely different approach. Rather than designing materials for individual students, our objective has been to develop materials that can be used in a classroom context by a group of students working and communicating together. This talk will outline the sort of tasks that we have developed for students to undertake in different virtual worlds, explain the underlying methodology we have used, and illustrate how the activities work in practice.

Fiona Thomas

Fiona is the Chief Operating Officer at Net Languages, an online language course provider and school. She started working in  educational management in 1996. Since then she has held different management positions: Director of Studies in a conventional language school and Director of Education at Net Languages. She is now responsible for operations at Net Languages and looking after all the Net Languages clients. She loves the global reach of online courses and the opportunities it gives her to work with people and organisations from all around the world. She has co-written the book: Managing education in the digital age.

Online language courses post pandemic

Prior to COVID, there was a slow but steady growth in online language course providers in the language teaching industry. At the same time there was a significant number of language training organisations that only offered language courses with teachers and students physically in the same place. However, COVID catapulted everybody into the online arena and to many people’s surprise, they discovered that languages could be learnt and taught effectively online.
Now that we are hopefully coming out of the pandemic, what will the role of online language courses be in this new era? Will language teaching organisations revert back to what they were doing before COVID or is online here to stay as part or all of their offering?
This talk will focus on the role online courses and materials are likely to have in this new post pandemic world.

Ida Grbić Ivanović

Ida has been part of the Pearson family for 13 years and is based in Zagreb, Croatia. She has a degree in English and French language and literature and a master in European studies. In her time in Pearson, she has worked in ELT, Assessment and Qualifications. In recent years, she has been more involved in developing Career Focused Education and how Pearson can support teachers and learners through digital transformation with a strong focus on fair and accurate (digital) assessment.

How to meet students' needs now and in the future

The pandemic has taught us a difficult lesson about the limitations of paper-based teaching and assessing. Find out how Pearson uses technology and AI to support teachers and learners in their journey, ensuring all their needs and goals are met.

At Pearson, our purpose is simple: to add life to a lifetime of learning. We believe that every learning opportunity is a chance for a personal breakthrough. That’s why our 20,000 Pearson employees are committed to creating vibrant and enriching learning experiences designed for real-life impact. We are the world’s leading learning company, serving customers in nearly 200 countries with digital content, assessments, qualifications, and data. For us, learning isn’t just what we do. It’s who we are.


Simon Harris

Simon Harris is the Managing Director of International House Sofia and has been teaching and managing a variety of schools for the past 30 years. He is always looking for ways to explore innovation in ELT.  He is a partner on the VR project and is currently developing an Erasmus project on Developing Globally Responsible Citizens.

Developing Globally Responsible Citizens

As ELT teachers and managers we have the power to bring global issues into the classroom, to research, discuss, debate and present ideas in a safe and positive environment. We recently proposed the development of a DGRC curriculum builder, an innovative tool that allows teachers and academic managers to select language learning outcomes, syllabi and courses simply and quickly, covering themes such as community, health, environment, diversity and innovation.  Where national curricula and course book topics may not be current, relevant or may be lacking altogether, the DRGC curriculum builder enables us to design courses around our students’ interests and language goals.



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