Wednesday 25 April 2012

Sign-up for the free course on #mLearning #MobiMOOC with speakers from around the world

If you are interested in mobile learning (mLearning) in a variety of aspects, feel free to join MobiMOOC2012. MobiMOOC2012 is a free, open and online course that will focus on the subject learning with mobile devices in a wide variety of fields.

The course will show examples from around the world with facilitators and speakers from different continents. The registration is simple: just sign up for the MobiMOOC Google group and you will be informed of any new developments, announcements...

Details of the course:
Date: 8 - 30 September 2012
Course format: open and with emphasis on discussion and knowledge exchange
Cost: free
Location of the course: online, the course uses many social spaces, but there are 2 core spaces the course wiki and the MobiMOOC Google group.
How to register for the course: request membership for the MobiMOOC2012 group here. 

There are 4 fixed topics: mLearning introduction, setting up a mLearning curriculum, planning a mLearning project, impact of learning with mobile devices worldwide.
And YOU get to choose the other 6 topics, by selecting your preference on this online poll.

Feel free to send this through to anyone you might think has an interest in mLearning.

Writing a #crossplatform #multimedia rich #eBook is hard! Help needed

Stephen Downes' OLDaily got me onto Laura Braunstein who listed a couple of eBook qualities she would like to see. And I totally agree with her list (in short: interoperability, intertextuality, sharing, device neutrality, curating). This is a great list and to be honest, I am looking at ways to publish an eBook syllabus (makes more sense then a fixed written book in this day and age, doesn't it). The only problem is, that it is still a challenge to integrate multimedia in an eBook (or at least, I still find it challenging). So I was looking at a way to get an eBook - preferably an ePub - published, with integrated movies, audio and the more classic stuff (hyperlinks, pictures) and ... I can use any help you might have... here is the road I traveled so far.

What I am looking for is a complete eBook or ePub tool, that allows me to integrate multimedia and produce a cross-platform, interactive publication. So, I started to sift through what is out there.
First stop:
Lulu publishing: they do offer an eBook solution, but currently without multimedia support so... not worth the time investment. is another self-publishing option, but then again, I do not find any multimedia integration here either, so I could just as well use google docs.
Smashwords is another independent eBook publishing option. No multimedia here either (if I am overlooking it, feel free to tell me).

The thing is, if multimedia integration is not possible, I can just as easily use a pdf, google doc, or even a Word file as a book and just fill it with anchors and hyperlinks + pictures. Make sure to read the AMAZINGLY wonderful Liz Castro with a post on cheap Word into ePub conversion.

In the meanwhile I just want a book that gets me there, inside the text, guided by the text or media. It cannot be that difficult as the internet is doing it already anyway?

Then there is the international digital publishing forum. They have an immediate link to ePub3 and the open codes related to that. Great stuff, yet ... again time is limited for me at the moment. But if this is a priority, you can find a great set of resources here.
Or there is the Wysiwyg Google option called Sigil. But here again I do not seem to see video integration.

And there is of course iBooks 2 which does enable video integration in eBooks but also 3D models etcetera, but what I am looking for is a cross platform solution.

Luckily, I came across ePubInClassroom (which features a nice overview of ePub options) and that was where I found a link to Calibre, which has indeed video integration (hooray!).

Calibre is an amazing (!) eBook option built by Kovid Goyal, as it allows you to gather articles from newspapers and integrate it into an eBook that can be viewed on your device, or you can use it to create multimedia driven eBooks. Calibre uses a straightforward video tutorial to get you up to speed...

BUT, the video is not mentioned. Now, I found a thread in mobile read which covers embedding video in Calibre but ... not getting anywhere with that at the moment.

If anyone knows a cheap and easy way, feel free to share! Or must I really get InDesign CS5? Or should I provide a complete folder that can be downloaded so a local website can be unfolded with links to movies? ... as you see my mind moves all over the place, so feel free to point me in the right direction.

That being said... my list of to do things keeps on growing during my sabbatical: getting gRSShopper up and running for publishing a newsletter, finishing a mLearning syllabus, finishing full proposal, rewriting two book chapters, organizing a free, open course on mLearning ... so maybe I should just keep my mind on a more static syllabus and not add an ePub to my list .... But then again, where is the fun of that?

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Blogphilosophy: mega #PhD is more in touch with the contemporary, interdisciplinary #networked world

As I am looking around for PhD places (if you know of a call that would be open to a proposal on open learning via mobile devices, feel free to let me know), I realized that doing a PhD on my own is simply no longer logical in this new networked world. The least I could do is hook up with other researchers to start what could be called a collaborative mega-PhD.

This idea makes sense, as no one subject can be viewed from one perspective alone. And education touches so many other fields: neuroscience (connections in the brain made during learning), cognitive psychology (when are we willing to engage to build new knowledge), technology (how can technology fit natural human learning with the least interference – maximizing learning affordances), pedagogy (how can learning be optimized via a model that fits natural human learning)… When linking all of these up, we would be able to better understand the fact of learning, and how it can be improved via different fields.

This cross-pollination will not only result in a more profound, all-round grounded set of research facts, but it will probably also be stronger, as the network of researchers working on it can strengthen each other by exchanging ideas popping up in their research.

This mega PhD idea also has another advantage. In many cases PhD’s result in so much data, that one person alone will have a difficult time analyzing it. So if a collaboration of PhD’rs would work on a similar case study to research hypothesis in their field, it will allow them to come to a common drill down of the generated data.

There is only one downside: working as a team can be difficult at times. So the human group factor is something to take into account. Nevertheless I would be up for it.

Thursday 19 April 2012

#ict4d challenges to deliver sustainable #mLearning in developing regions

In a previous post I linked to a presentation by John Traxler, focusing on the discrepancy between current mLearning projects constructed by the mLearning research community that are often lacking rigorous evaluation and sustainable options, and the mobile corporate world pushing for scalable, sustainable mobile projects that are based on pragmatic, transparent facts.

The video below is provided by the University of Kwazulu-Natal, the recording can be downloaded from their seminar website here. The video you see here is the low bandwidth version, but on their site you will find a high resolution version (which works great on a television set as well).

John highlights the lack of mLearning pilots being evaluated in full, and the lack of reports on mLearning projects that did not reach the goals they were build for. For - as he points out - full reporting of mLearning endeavors will allow all of us (academics, corporations, ict4d community...) to really engage in meaningful education through mobile devices (if such is possible), all the while allowing both local (not localized) and really contextual pedagogies (based on pedagogies that are meaningful within the culture in which education will take place) to be developed, leading towards meaningful education through the use of mobile devices (or any ubiquitous technologies).

All through his talk he links to the philosophical undertow of technological beliefs that have and are coloring our contemporary development in mobile learning, and as such risk being at the core of what is and is not working with target populations that are not fully understood. For - as John mentions - if you go in as a technologist, any project will be evaluated based on technology, while if you are an educationalist, chances are all results of a project will be linked to education... and so on. What we need is an interdisciplinary understanding of how learning works, how it differentiates between cultures/regions/groups... and if how these differences can give rise to educational solutions that are sustainable, scalable yet at the same time can be adjusted to local needs and pedagogies.

Well, not sure if my brief transcript is clear, but the presentation surely works inspirational.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Free online book with 58 tips on instructional design

The eLearning Guild always brings together eLearning people from a variety of backgrounds. This makes the Guild an interesting organization to stay updated on all things related to eLearning. Chris Benz from the eLearning Guild just released a free online book that comprizes 58 tips on eLearning. The free eBook covers tips running from research, design, over development and management. You can download it here (before the download, you do need to give some information).

It is an easy read and ... it prepares anyone who is interested in the upcoming online webinars on Advanced Instructional Design. These webinars are planned on 17 and 18 May 2012.

From the online forum site: eLearning Instructional Design: Advanced and Breakthrough Techniques

How can you take your instructional-design skills and techniques to the next level? What are some of the newest innovations in instructional design? What does the research tell us about which design techniques really work and which ones don’t? If you want to design increasingly compelling online learning experiences, or just need some fresh ideas, this Online Forum is for you.

#MobiMOOC free, online course on #mLearning runs 8 – 30 September 2012 choose your favorite topics

In 2011 the first MobiMOOC ran from April - May 2011. Now it is time for the second course, feel free to put it in your agenda!

This is the first mail to get the word of mouth going.

The second MobiMOOC will run from 8 – 30 September 2012. The format is slightly changed from the first MobiMOOC: more participation in subject choice, tree architecture, three weeks to cover all, and more closely linked to the Open Educational Resources (OER) idea in that the interactions will become durable (well in as far as technology has a lasting lifespan in this era (-;

MobiMOOC2012 will only have 4 fixed topics: mLearning introduction, mLearning project planning, mLearning in global contexts and mLearning curriculum implementation, the 6 other subjects will be chosen by YOU.

Course name and description: MobiMOOC is a Massive, Open Online Course (MOOC) with a focus on learning with mobile devices (mLearning). The course will look at specific fields where mobile devices can be used and are used to increase learning and training. As the course is a MOOC, the main interaction will be provided by the participants, but guides on the side will be provided for each specific topic (guides on the side = facilitators but who do not preach, yet provide options and insights and learn from all the other participants as well – just like any wonderful expert would do).
Course start: Saturday 8 September 2012.
Course subjects: 4 fixed subjects, 6 topics chosen by all of you. You can choose your preference(s) here. Feel free to choose more than one as the top 6 topics will be part of MobiMOOC2012.
Course fee: the course is free for anyone to join and interact.

What is a MOOC?
A MOOC is a course which is open to all interested people, which is located in the Cloud (online) and where the learning interactions are wide open to all participants (viewable for those who participate and those who just want to read up on a subject). In this case it is a MobiMOOC, a course with focusing on mobile learning topics.

How are the topics
chosen and then picked up?
A list of possible subjects are provided and until the end of May anyone can vote on which subject they would like to see covered during MobiMOOC. The top 6 topics will be picked up as being part of the course and subject matter experts will be asked to guide the MobiMOOC participants through that specific topic. Can’t wait to choose your favorite mLearning topics? Get over here and choose your favorites!

What is meant by the (peace) tree architecture?
A tree architecture is a course format that provides 1 topic in the first week, three in the second and more (six) in the third or later weeks. A bit like the branches of a tree, where there is a central stem (= mLearning) and different branches emerge into thinner, more specialized topics. The idea of the name came to me because I truly belief in the tree of life peace symbol. And I hope that open education and critical thinking will move all of us towards a more humane, peaceful world.

When will the 6 other topics be known: by June 2012 the topics will be known, but depending on the quest for guides on the side, the facilitator names might be known a bit later.
Will there be a syllabus? A short syllabus will be provided online, but if all goes well, a more in-depth syllabus will also be provided (more news on this later).

Choose the topics now! Via this form.
The topics to choose from in the online form are (alphabetical order):
  • Activism: social change with mobile devices
  • Ageless: mLearning initiatives of people above 65
  • Augmented learning with mobile devices
  • Corporate mLearning
  • Development: mLearning in development countries (ICT4D or m4D)
  • Disabilities: mLearning for people with disabilities
  • Games and mLearning
  • Gender: empowerment through mLearning
  • Global mLearning issues
  • Health: mobile devices in health
  • Hobby: getting mobile with your private mLearning ideas
  • Innovative edge: mLearning innovation at the edge
  • k12: mLearning from kindergarten to k12
  • Libraries: mLearning in libraries (getting libraries mobile enhanced)
  • Museums: mLearning in museums, galleries, art
  • Research: the status of mLearning research
  • Security: build safe mLearning
  • Tools: a collaborative view at mLearning tools, sharing experiences
  • Train the trainer: getting teachers to teach mLearning
  • Youth: young people and their mobile use – given by -18 facilitator
Looking forward to your choices! And I will share the resources and spaces of MobiMOOC as I prepare them.

Thursday 5 April 2012

#Future of #learning on the go: Project Glass

Project Glass from Google research starts out as a personal assistant type of technology. But ... even in the short 2:30 minute YouTube movie you can see how it could be used for future learning purposes as well. It definitely adds to the mobile learning options as well and most of all, that would result in only having to use one - 1 - tool, a thing that sits on my nose daily anyway, my glasses.

Just imagine, combining these glasses with augmented reality and gesture-based learning (keep on top of new innovations at the Kinect education site)! For real! I would definitely travel to Rome and walk around all the sites, learning and viewing ancient Roman traditions, crafts, historical reenactments ... Everything is there: the Roman itineraries have been laid out (, there are 3D walks through the city of Rome and its architectural glory ( and add simulated mobile reality ( to this and ... you have got a whole different immersive learning package!

The only thing I want to know is ... how to turn it off and stay off until I want my glasses to start providing me information and interaction again. Too much media overload never works for me, but when I like it or need it, it is simply wonderful! It would enable anyone to tap into the stream of information on the Web and ... create knowledge on the go.

Call for #papers on #elearning: 4 calls 4 continents

Online learning is happening all around the globe, so why not connect to all the different continents and get a local feel while you are there.

What: HICSS-46 - The Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)

When: January 7 - 10, 2013,

Where: Grand Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Deadline for submissions: 15 June 2012

More information:

Process: double blind review and Conference Proceedings published by the IEEE Computer Society and maintained in the IEEE Digital Library.

How do they describe the event: HICSS-46 offers a unique, highly interactive and professionally challenging environment that attendees find "very helpful -- lots of different perspectives and ideas as a result of discussion." HICSS sessions are comprised primarily of refereed paper presentations; the conference does not host vendor presentations.

The conference operation is funded entirely by registration fees; therefore, HICSS is not able to subsidize registrations or offer reduced fees, nor partial registration. All participants and speakers (or their organizations) are expected to bear the cost of their expenses and registration.

HICSS-46 contains the following tracks, or areas of research concentration. A paper may be submitted to any minitrack in one of these tracks, but not to more than one minitrack.

* Collaboration Systems and Technologies

* Decision Analytics, Mobile Services and Service Science

* Digital Media: Content and Communication

* E-Government

* Electric Energy Systems

* Information Technology in Healthcare

* Internet and the Digital Economy

* Knowledge Systems

* Organizational Systems and Technology

* Software Technology

What: ULearn

When: 10 – 12 October 2012

Where: Auckland, New Zealand

Deadline for submissions: 29 April 2012

More information:

How do they describe the event: With over 300 workshops to select from, and world renowned keynotes and spotlights to see, hear, and work with—Don’t miss out!

This will be the biggest teaching and learning conference to hit Auckland in 2012. Over 1600 people were at ULearn, at Rotorua, in October last year. It was an event, which, again, received rave reviews for the quality of its programme and its organisation.

This is the perfect opportunity to provide quality professional development for your staff.

What: ICT culture in education

When: 27 – 29 September 2012

Where: New Delhi, India

Deadline for submissions: 15 May 2012 (abstract 350 words)

More information:

How do they describe the event:

Educational Technology and Management Academy (ETMA) announces the International Conference on ICT Culture in Education (ICTCE2012) with the key objective to promote a healthy discourse on the full potential and extent of an ICT integrated education system.

According to International and Indian evidence of research and experiments, ICT can optimally play its role only when it is a part of Institutional Culture. The discourses will be all-inclusive and pervasive on policies and interventions at all levels of education, example:

  1. ICT literacy and skills for all in the sector of education;
  2. ICT integrated education; and
  3. ICT supported educational management

Education system is still to exploit the full potential of ICT for optimizing human learning. ICT culture in education cannot be achieved either by government or the private sector independently. It needs a collective effort of government and civil society. ETMA, has carved out a niche in the country for pioneering innovations, especially in the field of quality in education. Based on ETMA’s research and discussions, it is time to launch the next generation advocacy for ICT Culture in Education- an ICT Culture that will ensure complete integration of ICT in every aspect of educational processes, rather than ‘hanging as a piece of decoration’ in the educational institutions.

What: 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning mLearn 2012 - Mobile Learning in Context
Conference date: 16-18 October 2012
Place: Helsinki, Finland
Deadline for submissions: 30 May 2012
Conference website:
Follow updates at:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

* Mobile learning in and across formal and informal settings
* Ubiquitous and ambient learning and technology
* Theories, models and ethics for mobile and contextual learning
* Open and distance education with mobile devices
* Mobile language learning
* Interaction design and usability for mobile learning
* Interoperability and standards for mobile learning
* Challenges for mobile learning in developing countries
* Mobile learning strategies in schools, higher institutions, industry, and organizations
* Adaptive, virtual or collaborative environments for mobile learning
* Augmented reality for learning
* Innovative approaches to learning of current and emerging mobile technologies
* Toys and smart objects for learning
* Mobile learning across cultures
The conference programme will highlight keynote talks, symposia/workshops, plenary sessions, parallel presentations, roundtables and debates, special Focus Sessions, poster sessions, technology and product/service demonstrations.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

New Horizon report on #mLearning and latest #eLearning technologies

If you have not read it yet, this report on the latest The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. The nice thing about this 42 page publication is that it looks at probable implementation of new and upcoming learning technologies (games, augmented reality, gesture based computing...).

To get this free publication you do have to register for an account, but it is worth it! You will also be able to keep updated on future publications, and more excitingly to give your feedback on upcoming drafts. How cool is that?!

This ninth edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The 2012 Horizon Project Higher Education Advisory Board initially voted on the top 12 emerging technologies — the result of which is documented in the NMC Horizon Project Short List > 2012 Higher Education Edition. This Short List helped the advisory board narrow down the 12 technologies to six for the full publication.