The fun they had – Isaac Asimov

12448302asim_20010626_20131.jpgTime flies, TELIC 2 – session 1 arrives. Time to reflect!

We had to read an interesting paper from Isaac Asimov: The fun they had (1951). Asimov wrote more than 500 books during his lifetime and is widely considered one of the big three science fiction writers.
In “the fun they had” Asimov creates a futuristic view on schools in the future. The fact people don’t know books and human teachers anymore is fun to read. The fact people are robotic (and not computers) isn’t that strange. He was hard to predict the upcoming computer at that time. The fact he included the fact they could slow down the learning process (from 11 to 10 y/o) is extremely interesting. Is this possible nowadays, for example in Moodle?

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Second Life

Thanks to Dries’s slideshow (http://driespalmaers.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/second-life/#jp-carousel-75) I managed to find the SHU-spot on Second Life. I was surprised by the possibilities. Because of posters, links etc, it’s really possible to share, present and enhance social learning and collaboration. Three-dimensional (3-D) virtual worlds like Second Life can be considered as 3-D social networks, where people can collaboratively create and edit objects in the virtual world (Boulos et al, 2007).

Schermafbeelding 2013-05-11 om 12.21.38

Schermafbeelding 2013-05-11 om 12.25.28


Google Glass in education

A while ago I wrote about Googles innovations. Today I’ve read a Facebook post of Lars (IC2), who shared this video:

Of course this video has much marketing value to Google, but it also shows a way how to use it in education. A teacher makes a video, chats and teaches his class by showing unique things and experiences.

Further reading: http://mashable.com/2013/04/30/google-glass-future/


The impact of IC1 on your personal and professional practice

The first module, TEL1, was really my kind of thing. I was already writing about presentation, publication and annotation tools and using them during my lessons, but in a non-acadamical style. I didn’t really know what to expect during IC1. The first session about innovation managed to excite me. I now realize life is full of innovation and we’re living in a very innovative time. It’s a challenge to find educational applications for all these new things.

But how about change? The third session was an eye opener. “Why is assessment needed?” If we are questioning assessment, why not rethinking every aspect of education? Change seems to be a thing I’m less confronted with than innovation. It’s the result of innovation.

I think this module stimulated me to be more innovative and think more about change.

During this module I tried to be innovative and achieve change:

During the module I noticed that the TELIC course uses connectivism and I tried to reflect on its influence on me. I listed the pros and cons:

  • the impact of a curriculum is much greater when you discover it yourself
  • the creation of a personal learning network is fascinating, although feedback is needed to point the right direction
  • Getting feedback from strangers (unknown nodes) is intriguing
  • The question raises whether this learning theory is appropriate for every purpose and  course. At this moment I consider it as a paradigm in which the teacher has the role of a pedagogical engineer who chooses the right instructional approaches (Hung, 2001).
  • I think the tutor has to offer some resources which form the base of the course. The student has to complement with own nodes.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend every session. I tried to catch up by watching the recorded sessions and write on a regular base (2, 3 times a week).

The fact we are in a small group, isn’t always easy. When 2 people aren’t able to attend a session, the amount of teachers is double of the students. And as a teacher I can say that the students influence the quality of a lesson. Something to put on the list of “things to improve”: any interim feedback would be nice. It changes the student’s attitude and motivation and also gives a good confirmation. It would be nice if the Critical Commentary could have been reviewed earlier as I finised it 3 weeks before deadline, because of a very hectic May (had to do much overtime). Although I had to wait for this review, the feedback was very constructive.

Last but not least, I hope I can say I managed to improve my English by doing lot of reading, writing and some speaking.


Am I innovative?

Jobs, Picasso, Lennon, Branson, Da Vinci, Luther King, etc. These were innovative men. But am I?

I think I am innovative in a way I understand there are needs for new functions, but I’m not always the person who can actually invent them. Of course there is a difference between using and inventing innovations. Eg, many years ago I was irritated about the fact you had to use different devices to phone, take pictures and use GPS. I realized once there would be one single device what would bundle these functionalities. But, I really couldn’t predict how this device would function or look like.

What makes innovators different? Dyer et al. (2009) suggest 5 skills which innovators have in common. Let’s take a look and reflect to these skills:

  • Associating
    The ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields, is central to the innovator’s DNA.  I think I’m good in finding structures and also in connecting seemingly unrelated questions, problems or ideas from different field.
  • Questioning
    Why? What? Why not? Asking question with existing structures, isn’t inborn, although I started to learn this during this module. A real innovator likes to challenge assumptions, while a regular person likely tries to  make existing processes work a little better. At this stage I’m still that regular person, trying to catch up with the innovators. I experience difficulties in abandoning certainties and current structures.
  • Observing
    I believe observing is one of my strengths. I feel more like an observer than a talker. I enjoy observing situations, conversations and current structures and make my own conclusions. It’s my favorite way of problem solving.
  • Experimenting
    I like to experiment with my own site. Studying the impact of sending news letters to the amount of members. Trying to collect experiences and publishing them on my website. I like to try out new things, but often hesitate to change the current structures which have proven to be successful. I’m not as experimental as Edison, who said

“I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.”

  • Networking
    I haven’t been networking for a long time, but at this moment I’m wedded to it. Not only the building of a network, but especially the interaction with it is very intriguing. Every question that is answered or maybe even solved is fantastic. A very nice way of extending my own knowledge domains.

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Using the tablet in education: pros

Earlier I wrote an article about the cons of the use of tablets in education. Somehow I feel bad about only mentioning the cons. On the other side, criticism is needed. But wait a minute, isn’t the potential also important? My conclusion must be revised. In my workplace, the tablet doesn’t seem to be interesting to use, because my students have to create and design stuff. But in other circumstances, the tablet might be interesting, no wait… very interesting!

Of course a tablet has also benefits. It is a compact to the internet connected device which combines a built-in camera, gps textbook, agenda with unlimited educational apps. Students can search for information and teach by digital course material. They can take and collect photographs and use apps which are specialized to several subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Math, Geography, languages and many more. In any case a tablet is very easy to use. My own nearly two years old son can use an iPad (unlock, swipe, start and use apps).  Continue Reading


My own Twitter network

I’m amazed by the effect of Twitter. When you got the right contacts, you can ask questions, spread information, find things, etc. I managed to find some good contacts, all innovative teachers in Belgium.

Hans De Four op twitter@dj4am , Hans De Four

founder KlasCement – ICTdag – Sharing innovation creativity & ICT in education.  · http://mynameise.com/HansDeFour

Bram Bruggeman op twitter@brambruggeman, Bram Bruggeman

Teacher-educator | ict related topics in education | powerful learning environment | positive psychology | passion 4 teaching | flow | historyteaching Eeklo-Ghent, Belgium · http://brambruggeman.posterous.com Continue Reading