Monday 27 December 2010

#Situated learning via #mobile #augmented learning for our #educational future

Learning within context was a difficult task in the past (travel, content design...). But with the ever growing (and simplifying) augmented mobile learning, it becomes a very feasible way of getting learners up to speed with the latest knowledge.

Situated learning was first proposed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger as a model of learning in a Community of practice. At its simplest, situated learning is learning that takes place in the same context in which it is applied. Lave and Wenger assert that situated learning "is not an educational form, much less a pedagogical strategy"(Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991) Situated Learning. Legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press p. 40). And I am in to that concept!

Let's be honest, if you read this definition, as a teacher, trainer or educationalist, you just want to read up on it. In case you doubt whether this could be of interest to your learners, doubt no more, just take a look at this simple situated simulation video proposed by Gunnar Liestoel (Norwegian 'oe') and his companions. Before looking at the video, know that it is rather easy to make a situated learning mobile lesson if you use wikitude (I had the pleasure of meeting Gunnar at mLearn2010, this is the blogpost on it). If you want to read up on Sitsim, look here for the project description:

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Prodigies do not wait for educational change, they live it

Most of us eLearners and knowledge managers know that change is here to stay. In fact although social media has started a social revolution, the change was not that revolutionary in its core for as humans we have always wanted to connect with others. Networking and being known by our peers is what drives us since the beginning of time. Monkeys know it, flocks of any kind know it, we know it.

Big names, small actions
A lot of discussions have been started on the fact that education as it is now, does not cover what is needed for the adult workers of the future (or contemporary workers, for it is happening). Seth Godin (renowned author, famous marketer and visionair) said that traditional education is heading for a meltdown, simply because it does not teach learners what they need to know to get started in professional live in this blogpost of his. The renowned author, and educationalist Ken Robinson focuses on the economical and cultural changes that effect education and which we – throughout the world – need to take into account. Look at this great 11 minute animation on one of his educational reform speeches.

Small names, big actions
In the meanwhile the learners themselves are just paving their way, some of them even put together their own master and phd. You do not need to tell prodigies where they need to go and they do not wait for our educational institutes to change, they just go for it and learn/teach.

My favorite young teacher is a musician called Stromae . He is a Belgian/Rwandan artist who makes fabulous music that is picked-up worldwide AND who gives free music classes which he publishes on the Net so everyone can learn. When he started out, he posted all his music for free. Yes, he is a believer in openness. No big stories there, just big actions. Here is one of his lessons on how he made a song (which later turned out to be the hit song that got him a great record deal), the lesson is in French, but the beats are universal, by the way this musical lesson got over 400.000 hits, so how is that for a free online learning module and even if you do not understand French, have a quick look he really gets his audience enthusiastic about the lesson as well:

Sunday 19 December 2010

CIDER session: supporting online Teachers: Moving Pedagogical Know-How into Virtual Classrooms

Technology does not necessarily result in better teaching. There are many instances where one can wonder why trainers and teachers even use technology. A virtual classroom for instance does not immediately translate to a more open, pedagogically sound teaching, on more then one occasion virtual classrooms have resulted in ex-cathedra lessons, where the only benefit for the learner is that you do not get caught sleeping.

In fact, I truly belief that a bad teacher does not become better with technology, in fact they make it worse, for bad teachers give eLearning a bad name ... in public! But can we, instructional designers and educationalists tamper with the autonomy of teachers by suggesting them how they can improve their overall pedagogical approach?

If this interests you, look at this presentation. It is an exploration of an action research project focusing on Master of Education professors working in conjunction with an instructional designer. Conversation analysis explored how participants with varied face-to-face teaching experiences - but limited or no online experience - transitioned to becoming effective teachers in virtual classrooms. Results indicate the need for professors to examine their own pedagogical constructs and concepts of learning communities and power relationships. This session will also include discussion on ways in which instructional designers can support professors' transition to online learning.

This session features a presentation and discussion with Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia.

When: Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 11am-12pm Mountain Time (Canada) *Local times for the CIDER sessions are provided on our website.

Where: Online via Elluminate at:

Please make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that we can use the Voice over IP functionality built into the web conferencing software. Please note that it is extremely important that you get your system set up prior to the start of the event. Information on installing the necessary software and configuring your PC is available at in the "First Time Users" section.