Designed for learning

learning – teaching – research – design – technology

Mark Kramer: Reflections of a Nomadic Learner in the Age of Ubiquitous Communication, Jan. 9 @LKL

Mark Kramer, aka @MAMK, will be talking at the London Knowledge Lab on Jan. 9th:

mamk_300x287Ubiquitous communication and mixed-reality computing
scenarios are becoming commonplace and are influencing in the way in
which individuals communicate and relate with others and their
surroundings. This talk will present reflections of a nomadic learner
who is examining how existing and emerging information &
communications technologies and services are redefining formal and
informal learning scenarios.  The expected result of this talk will be
to ultimately inspire those in attendance to gain a clearer
perspective on how we are shaping the future of learning.

Mark A.M. Kramer is a mobile research fellow at the University of
Salzburg. At present, Mark is conducting his doctoral study in which
he is examining the present state of how individuals and groups learn
and is attempting to provide an empirically sound forecast of the
future of learning within the time frame of 2015.

WORKING DOCTORAL THESIS TITLE:   Pervasive Learning: Forecasting the
Future of Individual and Collaborative Learning within an Age of
Ubiquitous Communication

December 25, 2008 Posted by | London Knowlege Lab, technology | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

my new sysadmin

I have a new Laptop. Its a work laptop, so it came with XP. I actually paid £25 quid to NOT have Vista, just because I didn’t have the time to figure out how I can transfer the XP licence from the old one. But anyway. I had to set it up. You know, install FireFox, download ubuntu, make it a decent machine.

Luckily its Christmas holiday, and I needed something to keep my kid busy (he’s 12). So I asked him if he wants the job. Of course he did. So yesterday he speant some time fiddling with the XP. There’s some proqota.exe thingy that won’t let us shut down the machine unless we ctrl+alt+del to the task manager and turn it off. Someone at IT must have put some funny disk quota on my account, and I can’t figure out how to kill it. Never mind.

Today we decided he’s done about as much as can do for the XP, and its time to install Ubuntu. I told him: go to the Ubuntu site, download the installer, burn it to a CD and install. Then set admin accounts for you and me, and a regular user for your little sister (I mean, she is 8 years old).

and he did.

  • 11:30 begin download, do the dishes
  • 11:45 download complete. begin disk burn, read some comics
  • 12:00 CD ready. reboot – oops, windows. need to change the boot sequence (I helped with that)
  • 12:05 installation begins, he asks me if its ok to go with the default (leave 15% for XP), I say yes. That’s the last question he asks
  • 12:20 he calls me over to key in the password for my new account
  • 12:30 installs a few games, tests his favorite sites, installs flash plugin & java. I show him the updates notification icon and what to do about it
  • 13:00 we go out for lunch, he leaves the software update thingy running
  • 15:00 back from lunch, a friend comes over. a bit of a disappointment as runescape doesn’t run. He tries all the standard procedures, but apparently runescape is sending him to the wrong download page. Eventually I have to give a hand, but in 5 minutes we’re sorted and happy (and friend is impressed)

Not bad, for his first day on the job.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | open source, technology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

duty of pleasure

Judy Robertson has a nice story about a student from her interactive design class, who started the course with grave reservations about the use of Second Life, and added with an achievement award and a rewarding experience. She comments on the recent Guardian article and about other students’ feedback from the course.  Judy notes:

I suspect there is a feeling among students that Second Life is sad. They may feel self concious about using it, or worry that they are wasting their time. In fact, after just quickly casting my eye over the module feedback forms there are some comments that the students don’t see how it helps them for employment.

SL may be sad as an social activity environment, but that’s beside the point. The question that should concern teachers and students is how good it is in terms of supporting learning.
The things I find sad are the motivation argument and the vocational one.
Saying “oh, here’s a cool environment / technology / game, maybe if we use it for teaching students won’t be so miserable” assumes that learning cannot be its own reward. I know you never said anything like that, but that is a prevalent rhetoric.
Saying “I can’t see how it will help me get a job” is the flip side of the same coin. It’s students assuming that learning is a form of misery which is aimed at preparing them for a greater form of misery (work).
Perhaps we need to make a stance here: we, as teachers, have a duty of pleasure. We should be committed to enabling our students to enjoy learning and enjoy the work that they will do in the future. We also have a duty to enjoy what we do, because otherwise we have no chance with the other two.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | second life, technology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

time for a narrative parser?

Last week I gave a talk on, basically, the corrections I need to do for my thesis.

Anna Sfard commented that (if I understood her correctly) “if that’s your model of narrative, then you should be able to find linguistic markers for it in student texts”

I thought yeah. And then the ol’ computer scientist in me thinks, in that case I should be able to write a parser to do it for me. i.e., instead of parsing text for Chomskian grammar, parse it for narrative structure. Then use that to determine stuff like voice, semantic sequencing, genre. Spotting shifts in these paramaters (e.g from imaginative to paradigmatic) could help identify critical learning points.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | narrative learning | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

update on knight news challenge

I’m into the 2nd round, and up for votes again:

December 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment