Education vs Training: Using Twitter as a Research Tool

February 5, 2009

I’ve increased my activity level on Twitter over the past month, and I am beginning to see its potential beyond documenting the trivial. As a test, I asked my “followers” to tell me the differerence between “education” and “training”. I received about 40 responses, many of them unique. After you read them, please add your [...]

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Webinar Presentation:10 New Possibilities with Mobile Learning

January 30, 2009

When mobile learning first arrived on the scene about 10 years ago, it was thought to be like e-learning except on a smaller screen. That is, educational material was packaged as courses, and tests were given on mobile phones. 10 years later, there are many new developments in mobile learning, some of which have the [...]

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Teaching Machines: a 100 year old vision

January 21, 2009

It has been exactly 100 years since the British writer E.M. Forster wrote a short story describing an audiovisual machine that could deliver a lecture to a remote audience. His 1909 short story “The Machine Stops” foresaw television, videoconferencing and instant messaging. (The story is available here.) The next 50 years or so saw the [...]

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7 Things You Don’t Need to Know About Me

January 4, 2009

OK, I’ve been tagged by my colleague Janet Clarey to describe 7 things y0u really don’t need to know about me. I’m playing along even though I don’t usually participate in such things, just to show Janet that I am a social guy… So here goes: 1. I love being a grandfather. I have 3 [...]

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Psst…wanna hear something great?

December 15, 2008

As a “feral learner“, I am always searching for interesting sources of ideas and information. One frequently overlooked source is public radio. As I work in my office, I often listen to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s public broadcaster, for in depth discussions of news, science, history, and live concerts. You can listen to [...]

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Learning Techologies: Motion Capture

June 12, 2008

Motion capture technology promises to speed up the process of developing animated avatars for immersive learning. Existing motion capture software works by tracking the path of a large number of visible markers placed all over the body. Because of the complexity of tracking so many points, motion capture software often gets confused and errors are [...]

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Multiple Metaphors for Learning

June 10, 2008

A recent article by Jacob Vakkayil in the academic journal Learning Inquiry (Vol. 2, 2008, pp. 13-27) is a good review of the various metaphors that surround the concept of learning. Each metaphor gives us some insight, and taken together they show what a complex concept learning really is. No one metaphor is “correct”, but [...]

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Post-biological Intelligence

June 9, 2008

An article by Stephen J. Dick, NASA’s chief historian, (New Scientist, May 31, 2008) on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) suggests that we view intelligence as the “smart” actions other biological creatures like us would carry out. He contends that our searches for extraterrestrial intelligence ignore the likelihood that intelligence in the universe has [...]

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Tools and Technologies to Support Collaborative Learning

February 19, 2008

I have just finished a report for Brandon Hall Research called Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: Tools and Technologies in which I try to enumerate all the different information technologies that can be used to support collaborative learning. In trying to make sense of the myriad of software packages available, I divided them into environments, networks, and tools. [...]

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5 Surprising Things about Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

January 9, 2008

In his 1999 book Collective Intelligence Pierre Levy observes that “no one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity.” I thought I knew something about the field of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) because I’d been teaching a graduate class at the University of Toronto in the mid-1980s when Marlene Scardamelia and [...]

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