Seminar on Tablets in Education


On the 16th of may I gave a keynote at the “seminar on the use of tablets in het onderwijs”.  There have been about 250 people from Basisschool, Secondary School, en Higher Education interested in the use of tablets in education.
I gave an overview of why tablets make a difference and what characteristics you should think of when designing the use of tablets in schools. Find my presentation in space for download:
Specht, M. (2012, 16 May). Tablet technologie in het onderwijs. Presentation given at the session on tablets in education at PH Limburg, Hasselt. Belgium.
The following presentation by Bart Boelen (Apple Distinguished Educator) gave an overview of the Apple Ecosystem and all iPad related services, apps, and functionalities. Learn more about his activities at ->
The third talk demonstrated the use of Android tablets and the Google EcoSystem as Google apps for education and how these can be used in the classroom. (Wouter Bouchez,
Fourth talk was a presentation of Windows 8 and it’s cross platform capabilities. Lots of setup seems to be quite similar to what Apple is doing: Cloud based documents and apps, app store, consistent touch well interface. One difference is well that the interface design seems to be consistent for all devices. Presented by Jurgen van Duvel, Microsoft Education.
Last talk was about if kids and teenagers are actually waiting for tablets in school. This was a great and inspiring talk from Pedro De Bruyckere, see his blogpost at:
Pedro is a great speaker keeping a fine balance between critical perspective on technology and constructive and inspiring recommendations on the use of technology.

TEL dictionary Adaptive Learning Environment

Thanks to Nicolas Balachef who is Chair of the STELLAR TEL dictionary, I have provided a new netry on the TEL deictionary about Adaptive Learning Environment.

In the entry I give a high level view on Adaptive Learning Environments and components. I did quite some research on this topic whi h actually started in my Doctoral Thesis at the University of Trier.

I started the thesis in 1995 and worked for about 3 years very intensively on the topic. Mainly implementing systems and doing experiments on adaptive hypermedia approaches. In this time also Peter Brusilovsky was a visiting scholar in Trier and I enjoyed this time very much and I think it was a very intense working group on the topic.

Also this time had quite some impact on research and market for adaptive educational systems I would say.

Peter Brusilovsky off course is “Mister Adaptive Hypermedia” and still doing lots of interesting research in this area. My doctoral supervisor Prof. Gerhard Weber developed the system we have been working on (based on CL-HTTP, Common Lisp Hypermedia Server from MIT) into a very powerful adaptive learning environment with authoring tool which is marketed under NetCoach as a commercial learning solution. Gerhard Weber also provides lots of very good online courses and materials on the PH Freiburg Learning Server. And still the grand father of all these systems is online the LISP tutorial so if you want to get in AI and learn some LISP this is the place to go ;-).

In my research there I explored some issues on adaptive annotation of hypertexts, adaptive recommender systems, adaptive user interfaces, and others. I have implemented prototypes for adaptive task sequencing, adaptive task selection and user models with different algorithms for modeling user knowledge. Interestingly a lot of the personalisation and adaptation discussion still circles around the basic concepts we have discussed in these days, but of course there are new ways to aggregate and collect data about users, environments and other sources for adaptation.

See Nicolas Blog post about the entry at

Some of my main papers about the works in adaptive hypermedia are:

Specht, M. and A. Kobsa (1999). Interaction of Domain Expertise and Interface Design in Adaptive Educational Hypermedia. Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Adaptive Systems and User Modeling on the World Wide Web at WWW-8, Toronto, Canada, and UM99, Banff, Canada, 89-93.

Specht, M., Oppermann, R., (1998). ACE – Adaptive Courseware Environment. The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 4 (1998), 1, 141 -161. 

Specht, M., (1998). Adaptive Methoden in computerbasierten Lehr/Lernsystemen. In: GMD research series, 98, 24, GMD, Sankt Augustin, (1998), 149 pages , ISBN 3-88457-348-9

Schoech, V., Specht, M., Weber, G., (1998). ADI – An Empirical Evaluation of a Pedagogical Agent. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, ED-MEDIA98. 1998. Freiburg, Germany

Specht, M. (1998). Empirical evaluation of adaptive annotation in hypermedia. In T. Ottmann and I. Tomek, editors, Proceedings of the 10th World Conference on Educational Telecommunications, ED-MEDIA & ED-Telecom ’98, Freiburg, Germany, pages 1327–1332, Charlottesville, VA, 1998. AACE.

Specht, M., Weber, G., and Brusilovsky, P., (1995). Episodische Benutzermodellierung zur individuellen Interfaceadaptation. Workshop Adaptivit√§t und Benutzermodellierung in Interaktiven Softwaresystemen. M√ľnchen: Siemens AG.