MACE final review and competence metadata

Yesterday we had the review of the European project MACE (Metadata for Architectural Content in Europe) looking back the three years this really was a great project. Check out for the content portal with a variety of ways to explore content via different interfaces and metadata classifications. We mostly worked on context and competence metadata. So and competence metadata is really a special issue all want it but rarely educators and teachers have a good or even any idea about competences or competence metadata. So one main result I see out of the project is that research needs to take into account different ways to specify and collect competence information and metadata ranging from classical taxonomy approaches to fully bottom up driven folksonomy.

mobile information access

“The explosion in the number of mobile phones with the capacity to access the Internet will enable millions of people in developing nations who cannot afford computers to go online for the first time.” (Berners-Lee, 2009)
Around July 2009 more than 50% of the world’s population owned a cell phone while in 2000 these were just 12%. Each year nowadays more than 1 billion mobile phones are sold: in 2008 it were more than 1.2 billion. I think four trends as interesting, which can be identified in association with the fast development and deployment of mobile phone technology on a global level:

  • Information can be accessed not only in city centres but much more important in rural areas. Especially in remote areas this will have an immediate impact on business processes, life-long learning, and everyday living. Examples are health education on HIV, information about food distribution, social support against discrimination, election monitoring by instant messaging, collective news reporting, finding jobs through SMS marketplaces, or accessing market prices for goods (Mobile Active Consortium, 2009).
  • The available information will grow even more rapidly as more people will have access to it and generate metadata and data. Mobile devices combine properties of other media as text, voice, audio, and video with geo-location and they are affordable to low and middle level income citizens. This basically means that with low cost end user devices information can be easily collected and distributed based on existing networking infrastructures.
  • Mobile devices will make intensive use of sensor technology and therefore become more context-aware. The information received and created on mobile devices can be analysed in the context of this sensor data. This issue is highly related to current discussions on privacy of information and tracking of users in real world and information space.
  • New user interfaces will synchronise multiple information channels available on infrastructural and mobile terminals. A desktop metaphor does not hold for a mobile information access in which we move away from our physical desktop. Steven Feiner already in 1999 describes the relevant issues in user interface design when we work and live in an environment where several displays can be used for personal and shared information (Feiner, 1999). Sensor-based user interfaces will lead to a complete redesign of the user interface in the next decade.

Learning in a Technology Enhanced World

You can download my inaugural address aas PDF from at: in a Technology Enhanced World

As an abstract:

Technology pervades ever more and ever deeper the very fabric of our Life. Science fiction writers draw a vision of a world enhanced with sensor grids and nano-bots in which we live surrounded by ubiquitous technology embedded in everyday objects. For some of us this vision of the future might be scaring, for others bright. Here I would like to discuss the impact this change has on learning and the research necessary to create the available technological options and choices for supporting learning. This address tries to take a broad perspective on learning in a technology enhanced world and define the road to a better understanding of context in ubiquitous learning support.
On the one hand ubiquitous technology nowadays changes the way we communicate and it enhances our capabilities to connect with others or interact with our augmented environment. These media are by no means neutral, interchangeable instruments that just support human needs, but instead they are assumed to actively enable new modes of human behaviour and human learning: people change by their tools (Feenberg, 1991).
On the other hand instructional and learning sciences rarely have had an impact on the design of new technologies. In this address I will describe some evidence that we are in the middle of a qualitative change for the role of technology for learning and that there is an important contribution from the learning sciences to define future technology for learning. 
A key claim is that technological innovation and educational paradigms have to develop side-by-side, connecting technology innovation, educational models, and theories for contextual learning.
A key question in this work is: how can we unleash the power of contextual effects when we design ubiquitous learning support?