Thursday, 29 November 2007

Sugata Mitra versus Andrew Keen at OEB

Andrew Keen

the next big thing will be curation.
He mentions Mahalo
The only way to take the digital technology is to take the serious content back AND to pay for content and knowledge providers/supervisors.

not give away ones labour for free => open source movement = free labour = free hippie = liberatarians
succesfully merging human intelligence with exiting digital new tools
Technology can free us, but only if we focus on humans.

Sugata Mitra
What my work is about is not technology but about children, humans, as a self-organizing mechanism (like economics...) The collected effect of all stock brookers who think about economics, makes the economy.
Nature is self-organising. Sometimes it is a disaster (storm...) but it happens. So the future is unclear. There is no mathematics of how self-organising works. Take the 'oersoep' that eventually gave birth to humans. So, self-organisation has always been there. So far it has created a terrible world with self-distructive characteristics sometimes.
Google says it is a brain. So I agree with Andrew that we are unclear about the outcomes of google's growth, I disagree because it might happen that Google will become human and more.
I do not care that all this free tools are available and they might take away money, especially off American based companies because people can communicate and learn for free all over the world.
So we can not predict the outcomes of self-organising systems and so we cannot predict human outcomes and internet and so on.
If the net has to have a curator, so do we as humans.
Humans need a curator for SO much: food, peace, ozon layer ...
all of this assumes that humans will be the top of the food chain and that we have to stay as we are, without evolving.
I think we must evolve and let self-organisation take its course.

skype: also an american company. There is no such thing as free, there has to be a way for moneytizing.
Media should not be about writing social wrongs. Web2.0 will not change the world, politics will.
second life: the founder's background is an evangelical christian. Also does Kevin Kelly (wrote on digital library may 2005) is also a born again christian. So second life is the digital version of christian heaven. My objection to that (Andrew is a Marxist) is that second life is the opium of a new type of person. They are so stressed with their own life, they flee into another world.
While digital life is anarchic, real life is not. Read Hobbes Leviathan or other social contract theorists. Hobbes: there must have been a moment where people will have gone from no rules to rules.
If we want to make the internet habitable, what we need is not only a bill of rights but also a bill of responsibilities.
Many internet users only think they have rights, not responsibilities and this is wrecking pedagogy and destroys the (digital) world (my comment: this sounds very extreme right in Belgium where extreme right says immigrants (new humans) invade the old culture and wreck the old world)
In my opinion anonymity is the biggest problem. Anonimity has wrecked discussion boards etcetera. So it would have to be encouraged to take an identity. (my comment: free identity helps in hierarchical cultures)
Anarchy never works! and it is corroding culture and the people in it.

a person has used mahalo in his company, but the teachers turned it down in favour of google.
reason: more resources via google, but not mahalo

searching and getting from one place to another. Two examples, the best application for searching is gps to get from one point to another. In India it takes a lot longer to find places. But one thing stuck in my mind. In the desert even with a map is impossible to get somewhere. The desert people use camels as vehicles, the camels can always find a way back. The latest is a self-organising application which works.
Google is the most powerfull learning company, but they are not here (congres) because it is a fenomenal company in just a couple of years time. It has created a new business knowledge economy. They grow sooo big, they are too huge.
What you have to do is think about google can help you.

globalisation and curation
curation is a value judgement. In 20 century the west had control about history, economy... Media is not neutral (Murdoch). Knowledge is value based. Curation makes a value judgement on what is the 'right' knowledge. (HOURAY for Daxa Patel!)
Mathy Van Buel (not sure name from ATIt) supports and adds.

Andrew Keen does NOT understand this question. He must definitely take a course on either gender studies or other critical studies that look at the impact of kolonial structures that affect everyone.

where do we stand if some students feel better in the virtual world, than in the real world?

Some topics are easier to discuss in a virtual environment, and others better in the real world. The best stands somewhere in between. (answer Sugata)

What about open communities of practice of academics? They might engage students more to learn about a topic than in any other way?
Andrew: no it decreases the academic value.

Andrew Keen definitely likes to rant AND he contradicts himself.
Sugata Mitra is very intelligent, humouristic and full of nuance.

session implement social media in companies

IBM has made content without including learners in the production process of courses!! (see below at Bert De Coutere).

Paul Westeneng
Wiki Welten: Dutch wiki working on the media wiki engine.
usage went down, below expectation, mostly senior contributors that were adding content.
most users expect handson information, which gives a problem if it is not immediately delivered => integration of different poles (see image) = usage got spectacularly back on track.
other changes:

Nick van Dam
global talent challenge: how can we develop next generation leaders? A lot of the baby boomers will go out soon (mwoehahaha). A lot of old jobs will no longer be there.
building strategic learning capabilities: higher content is the trend in business learning. (harvard business school's management and leadrship courses (check this out it is online learning with certification).
deloitte uses podcasts, screencasts (streamed)... (the things we use at ITM, so we are doing alright).
one competence framework for everybody and they mapped competancy with different learning objects. online learning curricula for all business units
use a internal myspace for the company.
eLearning for kids

Bert De Coutere
learning at IBM
they use
talks about the ibm knowledge factory

here he puts out a question to the room: 'how can you involve the learner without loosing the quality?' Something strange here, apparently IBM has been developing courses without input of learners from the beginning.... this is REALLY unsuspected!! They should include learners from the beginning? I am at a loss now.
As one woman suggests that he should ask the learners to give all the content and than discuss it, he actually says 'that is a possible idea'!! Okay, my partner is right I live in another world. Definitely need a reality check (again).

mobile learning session in OEB

Join mobile beta (see below). A very informative session on mobile learning applications

John Traxler gave a great overview of the impact of mobile on all societies (have broadcasted it, will put up the link soon)

Gabor Kismihok

Very interesting pilot case!!

blended mobile learning example, things I picked up:

Tool: adaptive testing
all content based on educational ontology (I need to look up the educational ontology slide)
integrated mobile forum in CMS! profs give feedback on questions that might be raised during the lecture.
administrative SMS communication (like this idea)

Andreas Ua'Siaghail
(pax warrior - resolve labs)
because mobiles are a personal instrument, it is good to give the students the choice in which mobiles they use for learning. Better than pushing a mobile on to them.
he asks to get involved in the full beta of 'part of pax'

Andrew Keen at OEB

While he is kind of a pedant speaker (I hope for his karma he only plays it), he makes some good points.

- Kids are running the show, look at wikipedia, facebook...;
- economy of today is a Web2.0 economy;
- everyone is an autority;
=> so the challenge is to implement media literacy, so all kids would get to know what content is interesting and so on.

He also wrote a book (of which he is no doubt very proud to a strange extend): 'the cult of the amateur, he really does not trust the fact that everybody can create knowledge => the infinite monkey theory (give enough monkeys a typewriter and one of them will eventually publish a shakespeare).
the kids are in control, so the monkeys lead the world => he is not pro new media lets say.

What would be interesting would be to look at the discussions in the French revolution on education (Rousseau...). Maybe those discussions would parallel the ideas he is talking about now.

He is going on on Pamela Anderson and why she is not as important as Marie Curie, though the wikipedia has equally long sentences on these two characters.
But I think, each time has its soap opera players and soap characters have always been discussed and used in stories and knowledge.
The characters of Greek mythology were soap opera characters... so do we say Greec mythology is not historically interesting and lets erase it because it was not scientific enough?
It would be interesting also to see whether there are historical waves that have a focus on science and then again on cultural ... etcetera with moral differences that are related to this.

Sugata Mitra was inspiring!!

What a fantastic speech of Sugata Mitra on education of children in an informal environment!!
I will link to the broadcast soon (the video quality is soso, but the message is really worth the effort).

Sugata Mitra spoke about experiments 'Hole in the Wall' where he delivered a computer with English resources on it and a touchpad to children that were computer illiterate, speaking Tamil or other non-English languages. The computer was set in rural Indian villages, in safe places that were accessible to children and ... he looked at how children interacted with this new technology. The computers were set in the playgrounds or somewhere in the open field where children gathered.

The most amazing experiment was one where he gave a computer with a course on it which was biotechnology and the course was in English, while the children were only speaking Tamil. After three months the children had learned biotechnology ideas and had taken in a lot of the english words of the course.

So Sugata Mitra concluded that any child can learn as long as it is left to their own devices and with the right triggering of emotions => anybody anywhere who is motivated through emotion will learn whatever content.

Now that is something impressive!!!!

I will read up on Sugata Mitra. He managed to change the world while giving access to knowledge to children in rural areas and living in the streets.... I want to add to the world as well. He moved my heart and head. In between all the people that speak at conferences and sell warm air, there are always a couple of inspiring and incredibly human people that really make a difference in the world.

plenary session OEB

At the plenary session of Online Educa Berlin. The internet connection is not surprisingly filled up and thus slow, but still I can stream a bit at

This morning was a great informal learning moment with Steven Verjans. Informal knowledge exchange always sticks to the mind because of the stories. Twittering through firefox with audio plugin that links to itunes... have to look for this mash-up.

going to stream now ....

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

testing video blogging movie

These are most of the participants of the workshop. It is really intens, but great thanks to all the questions all you participants asked!!

script for vodcasting workshop at OEB

This afternoon I will be delivering a hands-on workshop on vodcasting. This is my scenario, if you see something that I have missed, feel free to comment.

Scenario WS video blogging

What will we be doing: 10 easy steps for video blogging

1. Update your computer
2. Get video compression software
3. Compress a video
4. Take a screenshot/snapshot of your movie
5. Get a video blog account
6. Get a creative commons license and insert it into the blog
7. Get a broadcasting account
8. Upload a video + tag it
9. Get RSS going
10. Comment on each others video posts

Extras: movies for mobiles, how to improve your blog…

Where does video blogging fit into the new media? In Web2.0 + a bit of talk about what web2.0 is within eLearning context.

Simple IT guidelines:

Naming files
Avoid spaces or special characters in your filenames to keep your files working cross software. There are two simple solutions to keep your filename useable while you exchange it through different software’s:
• camel writing: GuidelinesOnFileNaming.ext
• use underscores guidelines_on_file_naming.ext

Structure your folders

For videoblogging you will need:
• A folder with your original movies;
• A folder with your compressed movies;
• A folder for your screenshots.
Use logical names which you can search in the future! myVideoBlogsOnLearning…

Update your computer
Before beginning it is important to get all the recent plug-ins working. You need to update:
Your operating system’s updates;
Your browser; (firefox )
Sometimes you need a java update as well

Get video compression software:
Get your hands on a video compressing software. There are a lot out there, so feel free to roam about.
• Windows movie maker
• Mac’s iMovie

Compress a video

You, who have brought a movie, please use that one. The ones who do not: ask me, I have a simple movie on my memory stick.

Best compression for video blogging: video for broadband 512 kbps
Depending on your own multimedia savyness, you could fine-tune your audio and video to your or your participants’ requirements.

Pointers for buying video compression software:
• Does it have compression for mobile devices?
• Does it allow audio and video auditing?
• Does it offer cross platform compressions?
• Does it have a SCORM possibility that will allow you to get your movies going on any Learning Management System (LMS)

Low resource settings: low resource settings demand a higher compression rate. This will decrease the quality, but it will enable them to look at the movies you have posted. This is where tagging comes in handy. If you tag every movie according to the compression rate, it will allow viewers to get files for their settings with one simple click.

Take a screenshot/snapshot of your movie
Select your movie player. Play until you have reached the frame you want to use as a screenshot.
Shortcut (windows): alt + print screen
(Windows) All programs => accessories => ‘paint’
Canvas adjustment in ‘paint’ => image => attributes => 1,1
Paste your screenshot into ‘paint’ and save it in your screenshot folder.

Get a video blog account
There are all sorts of video blogs available (wordpress, blogger, …) we will look at Blogger, because it is really easy and free.
You go to and you can just start to get your blog ready.
Get an account and WRITE DOWN YOUR PASSWORD. Each time you log into blogger they will ask it.

Use an email that you can check from this computer => you will need it to allow commenting on your posts later on.

Go into the ‘dashboard area’ and let’s look at the possibilities.

Get a creative commons license and insert it into the blog
Get some copyright going. Creative commons:
Choose the license you like. Get the widget and insert it into your blog. Inserting any additional coding into a blog is done by accessing the dashboard and clicking on settings.

Get a broadcasting account
A broadcasting account will allow you to keep all your movies on one place and to get different people posting video blogs. There are again a lot of broadcasting software’s out there (,…) we will use because it is free and it has come out as the best by users.
Let’s get an account and again write down your password.

If you choose a broadcasting account it is good to look at:
• Cross platform functionalities (different formats possible);
• Mobile possibilities;
• Accessibility.

Upload a video + tag it

Go to, login and click on ‘upload’. We will work our way through the different options.

Tagging is very important! If you use good tagging the chance of your video blogs being picked up by random surfers with a similar interest is increased.

Get RSS going

An RSS (really simple syndication) feed enables people from around the world to get regular/live updates of your blog. If for instance you are implementing a just-in-time eLearning program for team workers across the globe. They will immediately be notified once your new video blog post is uploaded. This will safe time for everybody.

You can add a feed of your own to your blog, but you can also use one of the many feed deliverers. We will use Feedburner.

Comment on each others video posts
Commenting on blogs is essential to keep your blog active and increase your reader potential. So let’s go and have a look at what all of us have done. I have put your blogs on my blog, so start from there to add your comments.

Pollish your blog:
You can increase the userfriendliness of your blog by implementing some easy guidelines. For this I refer you to Building a Better Blog site and 31days to building a better blog links.

Things to consider:
Use codec (compression/decompression) that is a standard.
The latest shift in video compression is the use of the h264 codec, this codec however is not functioning on all equipment (mobile devices etcetera) yet. But its use is increasing. But still, do not depend on this yet.

Reusability of video files

Getting high polished movies is ok, but certainly not necessary to get higher outcomes. If you want to deliver content to low resource settings, or if you want your content to be reused later on, it is wise to keep the individual movies short and easy to access.

If you will be using video blogging as a tool for eLearning, it is good practice to keep the individual movies short. Cover one learning outcome per movie. But that is not enough. Try to keep the original scenes of your movie well structured in your ‘original movies’ file. This way, if certain learning content changes, you will only have to retake that small bit of the movie. If you tape everything in one big file, you will have to redo a lot of work.
If you link the content of one movie to a learning outcome, you can reuse it later on in a different context that is also in need for that particular learning outcome, hence saving you time.


If you have the means to invest in a good video studio, please do.
But setting outstanding standards for your audio and video quality or the surroundings for your recordings will have totally no meaning, if you do not get your learning outcomes covered in your movies. Content is as always the most important thing.

Engage your learners
If you are aiming to address learners, make your movies engaged. Speak to the learners immediately, use the maximum scale of your voice (if you can go with 2 octaves, please use it), grab their attention, don’t just sit there…

Nice link of peer-to-peer video blogging:

A great freevlog tutorial on video blogging:

Contact me
Inge de Waard
Blog :

Friday, 23 November 2007

CLTI07 - George Siemens creating organizational learning

This session of CLTI focused on the need to change learning infrastructure. Learning and development that is up to the newest realities of today.

Learning at somepoint faced death by acronyms and buzzwords. Learning = learning, it does not matter what you call it.

There is also a mismatch: what learners need to do, what we taught learners to do.
We forgot context (situation of knowledge they will need, the technology they will use, ...) we have put context of design above context of use.
Which led to neglecting the learner.

Strategy: learning is the live blood of any corporation.
Intent of learning: advance the capacity of both learners and the organisation they make.

So where are we as companies?
- information growth will enhance even more;
- different people: we will need to task shift quickly (not really multitask);
- different competitors: competition is unclear and
- market disruptions unclear;
- value for corporate functioning = ability to function in this space;

What do we need: an infrastructure of adaptability complex environments will have tension between different view points, but that adds to diversity. But how do we keep a certain stability?

Decision tables understand:
- metrics;
- ROI;
- competitivness;
not the jargon L&D use.

All sorts of cultures will be able to implement their thinking into the learning equation.

Up until now the impact of web2.0 was minor in the organisational environment.
The toolboard should be designed so different tools can be put on them, not like now that the tools seem to dictate the board. (really good point!)

different paths lead to different directions => the importance of case studies is sometimes overstated. Organizational background, context can be so fundamentally different that those cases do not translate well at all.
Every corporation needs to go through three stages: conceptual => experimental => implementation. No matter what there core business is.

Learning needs that we face:one approach won't work, you need a learning ecology.
It is important to make a learning structure/ecology that is dynamic and that can cope with new evolutions and learners needs.

The concept of deep smarts is again increasing, based on the expertise and the experience by a mentor. Different smarts are getting ever more important => thinking holistically. More information is in George Siemens's book KnowingKnowledge (see links underneath).

Things to do
- we need to reflect: on the model, the learning
- evaluate context of learning and recognize the diversity;
- experiment aggressively: this leads to thoughtfull implementation;
- function in gradients: learning has many nuances, that demands nuanced approaches.

My thoughts
death by jargon is so correct;
I like the concept of self-learning :-)
A great idea was the use of task-switching instead of multitasking. Really like that idea and use of words. Will use this.

links that were posted
The book of George KnowingKnowledge
A definition

Thursday, 22 November 2007

social media use in low resource settings - who knows?

The digital gap is very real in all low resource areas. While MIT’s one-laptop-per-child is giving access to the much needed hardware, the digital impact of low resource areas is not clear even with the use of social media that is emerging.

But I would imagine (and feel) there is a shift in the new digital era that can make a difference. This shift engages low and high resource areas to exchange knowledge.

The only thing is, what kind of impact do low resource areas have that implement social media?

With the growing access to social media and the web, more secluded areas with (former) low connections are beginning to find their way to the Web and to one another. This new connectivity has a big impact on the global community. That knowledge is helpful and has an impact on health, biology, antropology, etcetera for the world. Or at least, I would think so.

But will these emerging (old) cultures that are engaging in social media projects influencing the global space? What is the impact of social media in low resource areas?

I was following a seminarin SCOPE on low resource areas and eLearning a couple of weeks ago and the output was interesting, but the impact of social media was not discussed.

So does anybody know an example where low resource areas started using social media? Because I would love to know and dive into that topic.

script for podcasts

Today I was working on a script that would enable podcasts to be delivered straight from ITM to the world. So I got my dreamweaver opened, got some serverspace and started writing my XML file to get going with the podcasts.

It worked from my first trial! That was a nice surprise. The only podcast we have for the moment is a test-one that can be implemented in iTunes (\uploadfolder\podcast/podcast_itunes_script.xml )
, so no ground breaking Tropical Health topic yet, but still it is exiting.

But I still have to get some details right:
- lenght of the podcast, is there an easy way to get the length of a podcast (in seconds)?
- image: I had an image loaded up, but it probably is taken over by the multimedia of the podcast from as soon as that multimedia material is downloaded... so I am not sure if I need to put an image in.

The script
It is just an image, because the coding kept giving difficulties in my blogpost (I tried 'code' and 'pre' and 'tt' but to no avail:

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

CLTI07 - Richard Straub a golden age for eLearning

This presentation focused on open <=> closed world (versus Flat world - spiky world) and he gave insight to the dynamics of technology and business cycles.
It is not only about innovation, but also about value. How can we demonstrate the value?

Invention is an important step, but the application of invention to solve problems is the essence.

Looking at major technology cycles and looking for similarities ('Technological revolutions and financial capital' Perez)
There is a period where new technologies are erupting, than follows a period of frency because of the potential goldmines. But it is not clear where the success will be, and so a crisis follows (f.i. .com bubble).
We just entered another technological booming phase (webtechnology), but how can we apply the newly developed technology now to create value? If people have the right business models, value will be prosperous.

Globalisation is increasingly augmenting the competitive pressure in these volutile and turbulent times.
If you want to innovate, you have to take risks, but how do you know whether it will work because of the volatility.

challenges for companies:
- how be innovative;
- how can you ensure a strong workforce;
- be adaptable for change.

eLearning: only 27% of companies find self-managed web-based training to be effective (IBM study 'unlocking the DNA of the adaptable workforce )
Will the elements that would make up for a paradigm shift be here in the near future?

Moving to a service economy => resources in Human Capital with new dynamics get crucial.
Lifelong learning gets more important and the users take the lead (and are incorporated from an early stage)

Millenium workers: team players, multitaskers, proactive use of technology, personal development is pivotal, opened to the world.
This leads to new enterprise models (open collaboration at all levels...)

Peter Drucker (1959) he mentioned the new knowledge worker: autonomy, they are in control of their learning, controlled by goals/objectives, strong affinity to peers and peer community, self-organised and dynamic teams that are based on trust.

Some questions that were discussed:

cycle of change is being disrupted by the emerging economies etcetera, it is important for managers to take this meta information into account.

a definition that was mentioned:
elearning: electronic learning
ilearning: learner driven learning (

Like all previous posts, this is just a quick paraphrasing of things I jotted down. But you can look at the complete presentation of Richard Straub on CLTI.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

soothing idea

Karyn Romeis just send me one of the best soothing ideas concerning work and expertise: "we now live in an age where nothing stands still long enough for a person to become expert in it before it has become obsolete!"

This is what I call a great idea, it takes away the pressure and gives free reign to feeling comfortable in ones work place, time and intensity.

Still reading Ricardo Semler's 'Seven Day Weekend', I think I was born into some of his ideas.

Monday, 19 November 2007

CLTI07 - Keith Resseau

Her topic was 'It's Not Innovative If It Doesn't Educate' and that is a superb motto. We looked at hot technologies being used in the public sector (podcasts, wikis, blogs, social media)

First she pointed out that there is no significant difference in learner outcome between f2f and technology based learning (see site). But by adapting content to technology, improvement of the learner outcomes can be enhanced (very nice to know).

Keith covered all the latest technologies and gave some feedback on them.
Blogs: the strength of a blog is the reflective learning it can ignite.
Wiki’s: are also useful for after conference events or after classroom events to get participants in on the learning outcomes or other relevant topics related to the activity. There was an interesting question on the critical number that would make a wiki work => it does not seem to matter, as long as the participants get pushed into participating (or they are sure to get something out of it). And there was a remark on using wiki’s and blogs in a corporate environment, but not naming them as such, rather entitle them as ‘team papers’ …

The overall conclusion was that the tools do not make a difference. What does make a difference:
• Make learning sticky;
• Add storylines;
• Make meaning;
• Redesign content to fit the tool.

links that were mentioned:

CLTI07 - David Snowden the patternizing brain

This was an information filled presentation by Dave Snowden, wow. The brain is revealed as a pattern processor, in which original fragments last longer as being relevant than the context they are put in by our brain. This said, I will just put out all the fragments I wrote down while attending this presentation:

• Cultural differences and evolutionary necessities resulted in different brain evolutions (eastern  western);
• The brain scans information and gives it its meaning by relating both to the scan and past experiences;
• Increasing ambiguity will optimize learning IF it is increased to the optimum level of fragmentation (screenshot);
• Replicate patterns from fragments sticks to the mind more than structured knowledge;
• People will rather go for stories/narratives than best practices and case studies;
• Learning mechanisms are about meaning;
• Remembering = always person/context coloured => the quicker info is captured the better and to be chosen every time above artificial reconstructing after the facts;
• The more educational material is polished, the less impact it has (long live low resource design 
• Avoid teaming up with people that have the same thoughts => decreasing knowledge because it is not challenged (village idiot syndrome);
• Avoid environments that push the brain/mind into a certain non-critical thinking. It only takes 3 to 5 years before their mindset is grilled into yours;
• Business must follow the natural way the brain learns as a model for its new business era.

Links from snowden

CLTI07 – Jay Cross Learning without foundation

It would not be Jay Cross if he did not go with his own flow, which in this case was an organic approach to discussing learning in corporations through dialogue.

Jay is an advocate of perpetual beta and he connects it to organic growth (which I like a lot) versus the more linear growth which is mostly found in business models.
Do define new ways of learning it is interesting to start without a foundation to keep an open mind. Especially if more and more of our economy is build upon information, knowledge and consumables.

The key idea was learning = co creating.

To assure the best possible way to keep in touch with everything that is changing and emerging, it is essential to get a strong knowledge network going. But… because information is exponentially growing, it is more and more difficult to keep track of relevant knowledge. Jay mentioned ‘the singularity is near’ a book by Ray Kurzweil in which the idea is written down that things can get so complicated that we can no longer comprehend them.
George Siemens added a notion of Eric Beinhocker an economist who reflects on economical networks that keep growing until they are so vast they no longer are a benefit to the network links themselves => network falls apart because of week ties (I am definitely paraphrasing the idea George mentioned, I need to read up on a lot).

Some thoughts I had while reviewing the presentation of Jay
- Organic learning is a process that has been growing since the idea that ‘there is no objectivity’. In my mind it seems only natural to evolve from non-objectivity and thus non-absolute truth to perpetual beta;
- Jay wanted people to get their thoughts out into the presentation to get a dialogue going. An idea I like a lot, but on the other hand it will again put people aside and get a non-equal dynamic going. Because a lot of people do have a lot of ideas but are not techy, not confident, not … to get their ideas out there. It is a bit like Virginia Yonkers said in the dialogue ‘power of politics’ which is not only true on an organizational level, but also on a personal level. The different skills of a person define what and in what way they can add information.
- Valerie Bock of Q2 mentioned a great idea: reinstating the apprenticeship. I really liked that idea, if learning is doing, living alongside a (couple of) mentors will definitely get knowledge across really rapidly. Carnegie and Napoleon Hill are an old example of that.

A couple of links from the session (and links I found while searching for something else, the organic harvest lets say), will need to put them in my list:
Geetha Narayanan podcast (an educator George Siemens mentioned)
a slide presentation on learning in an immediate world by George Siemens;jsessionid=AE5EB8F1EAD5AFDBC3BB3EF605C3481D

And a great set of workshops on education by LTC.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

additional mobile resources

Nicola just twittered me two interesting mobile posts that added to my previous post on future-of-mobile from this week:

One from Kevin Cawley working with Android Google challenge;
A presentation of Ron Edwards on mobile learning on the move;

and zong.

CLTI07 - Steve Mahaley - virtual worlds and education

In the corporate learning conference organised by George Siemens, Steve Mahaley was second to give a presentation on using virtual worlds for education.

Education was defined in this presentation as a corporate business strategy to optimize work. Steve gave some examples of education in virtual worlds (he used the Second Life environment). One of his examples was on having a teaming exercise in SL.

He looked at possible benefits of virtual world education. Based on his favourite class = recess, he concluded that the best learning activities are those using all of our senses to interact with an educational environment. Several learning theorists were put onto display: Lev Vygotsky, John Dewey and David Jonassen who based their theories on 'Learning by doing' and social interaction to enhance education.

Steve showed a virtual teaming exercise and listed a few practical considerations amongst which he mentioned:
- videoconferencing is better than virtual world for debriefing;
- debriefing is essential if you want to reach your learning goals that you set out to attain;
- he found that it was better to give participants avatars, than to let participants come with their own avatar that could be 'inappropriate' for certain circumstances or would lead to unnecessary exchange of items.

My own thoughts on using virtual worlds as a means of education:
- great for getting experience with simulations;
- good for learning any knowledge that is based on sight;
- but it is expensive if you want to own or build your own island and virtual environments certainly demand high end equipment for all participants to be able to attend virtual classes => at this point virtual worlds exclude people from low resource areas.

Again, like with the presentation of Tony Karrer yesterday the fire walled environment in corporation was mentioned as a possible downside for corporation and (knowledge) workers in those corporations to accept virtual environments as an educational tool. A lot of participants mentioned that they could not blog or go to virtual environments from their office. Which meant that most of them were pushed into experimenting with these new educational tools from home and in their spare time.

Again Ricardo Semler comes to mind as a possible blue print for new management in corporations that are technology and knowledge based.

A couple of links that were mentioned on virtual worlds and education

Saturday, 17 November 2007

CLTI07 - Tony Karrer - Web2.0 tools for education

The CLTI is on. Each session is a blast of information served to all attendees. Tony Karrer focussed on Web2.0 tools ranging from wiki's to social bookmarking... It was a very good intro because everyone got ideas on possible uses of Web2.0. Because most of it was a little bit familiar, I just wrote down some of the things that were said in Tony Karrer's presentation that stuck to my mind:

Because information is increasing on a daily basis (by 2015 it is predicted that information will double every week), most people (me included) find it difficult to keep track of the latest knowledge.

As tacit knowledge work becomes pivotal and the idea that 'learning = working' becomes more accepted, the ability to cope with massive amounts of info and being able to search through them becomes more important as well.

Learning to learn is becoming more and more important. To keep track of the evolutions within one field of expertise, blogging is a sound option. Blogging forces you to think about what you are writing down, hence you learn more in-depth. Apart from blogging continually evaluating and improving personal work and learning skills is of the essence. This is made easier when one uses Web2.0 or participative web tools. But this is were some corporate IT departments have difficulties with security. While wiki's are most of the time accepted, other 2.0 tools get thumbs down in a lot of cases.

Bill Bruck pointed out that learning professionals need to learn how to support learning within the existing constraints and find tools and approaches that work within IT. Now that is something I am facing... not easy.

Most attendees of the virtual conference knew wiki's, social bookmarking, RSS etcetera, but the Google Tilde operator was virtually unknown.

Some links that were written in the very active chatbox of elluminate:

Friday, 16 November 2007

Blog philosophy taken lightly: blogging is competitive – easy guidelines for quick importance

There is some strange behaviour when it comes to blogging (or any ICT use for that matter). People tend to add significant data or information to be taken seriously. Because everybody can use easy guidelines to enhance ones status, I have jotted some of them down here:

Started blogging: if ever you need to address the moment you started blogging, you need to say 19XX. This is very important (if you only started in 20XX just think of your dairy days and add that date, but be sure not to go back to far!)
First computer: if you need to speak of your first computer, make it at least 198X, later than that and you are practically admitting that you are not a savvy of the first generation.
Using widgets: since 2005 you have been using widgets (of course).
Active participator: you have been participating in online conferences since they first started (and here you add a chuckle while you explain: “oh I remember it well, it was still with a modem and you could join the likes of Bill G. and Steve J…");
(Google) ranking: statistics rank you, but if in need simply photoshop the google ranking picture and add any ranking you like.
• you must have an openID (btw: I found out that it is good to look up openID in wikipedia to be able to show it off at meetings and conferences);

The latest indirect blog competition I entered was clustr maps. I added this feature yesterday, which of course has very little connections up until now. So I will now start a tour around the world and access my blog from all corners in the world to enhance my global significance as a blogger.

Or I will just try and twitter it and hope the community will help…

Please add your tips to enhance a blogging status, I will be more than happy to embrace all your suggestions.

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Mobile guidelines for better content

The latest trends in mobile technology and content were given in speed tempo at the conference There were a bunch of speakers (17!) who each got between 15 – 30 minutes and the format worked. In just one days time I got updated on some of the trends in mobile design and development.

Open standards
Because I am a fan of open standards, I really liked Andrea Trasatti of dotMobi. The site of is a mobile developers community with a clear understanding and willingness to work with open standards.
He also mentioned the W3C mobile web initiative
Linked to this CDF’s were mentioned to appear on handsets from 2008 onwards. CDF’s or Compound Document is the W3C term for a document that combines multiple formats, such as XHTML, SVG, SMIL and XForms.

A great test from the W3C consortium, a MobileOK basic test to see whether or not your mobile development project works within the standards.

Browser for cheap cell phones

For low resource settings I found the opera speaker (Charles McCathieNevile) very useful. He mentioned Opera mini which brings the Web to low cost cell phones.

Mobile Tools
The tools I jotted down were SoonR, WURFL and Volantis.

Contest with lots of money!
Well, it was of course the google man that got the crowd going by mentioning the android developer challenge. To all you developers out there: DO IT!!

The networking was nice as well, I finally got to see Nicola who also wrote a post on the conference , Chris Mills from Opera, Simone, Sheila and I met Jennifer or Ms Jenn from Black Phoebe with some notes on the conference, really great people.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

educational widgets and informal language

While going through all the great information that the College2.0 community has to offer. Marielle Lange send in a very interesting set of widgets that can be used for educational purposes for k12 students. Some of them are in French. She also bundeled some software to make presentations or sharing media which is very helpful.

The one I really liked the phonetic chart. Ever since a linguistic friend of mine told me written English is one of the best kept written languages, I cannot get that idea out of my mind. According to her, if you speak the words like you they are written, you will find a resemblence with other German languages and it really works.

Informal Linguistic Learning: so while I am reading an English book, I get the urge to spe-ak every word in its original w-ritten form and more than ones the resemblence with medieval Flemisch and Afrikaans words springs to mind.
But that reminds me, in 1906 there was an article in the New York Times that was pro-Dutch language and pleaded that it should be the official language in Washington and all official US departments.

But looking at this post... how do I ever think I can get structure in my blog, if I cannot even stay with one topic inside the same post? Memo to myself: stick to ONE topic per post, do not multi-think while writing.