New publications about sensors and smart city learning

Bernardo Tabuenca has published two new articles. He is doing work in the area of integrating life-long learning services into every day environments and linking them to the objects we use every day in our studies and learning activities.

Title: NFC LearnTracker: Seamless support for learning with mobile and sensor technology
Authors: Tabuenca, Bernardo
Kalz, Marco
Specht, Marcus

Title: “Tap it again, Sam”: Harmonizing the frontiers between digital and real worlds in education
Authors: Tabuenca, Bernardo
Kalz, Marco
Specht, Marcus

The difference in mobile technologies

Yesterday I gave a masterclass about mobile learning, you can watch the dutch video at:

or participate at the masterclass in dutch at (it’s free! thanks to sponsoring of SURF Academy)

One interesting issue of discussion was the question what different affordances different mobile technologies can offer and how this has consequences on the instructional design of mobile learning. I think this is definitely an interesting issue and if someone knows any research papers on this issue I would be interested to get some recommendations.

Conferences 2014

So already lots of interesting things for 2014, prepare for 2014 I will personally contribute to the following events so far:

  • Methodologies and Intelligent Systems for TEL, Salamanca, 4th-6th June 2014 misTEL 2014
  • 3rd International conference on Advances in Computing, Communications, and Informatics see
  • Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium, 6th – 7th March 2014, Watershed, Bristol UK,
  • 20th International Conference on Collaboration and Technology,
  • Die 12. e-Learning Fachtagung Informatik – DeLFI 2014, 15. – 17. September 2014, Universität Freiburg,

We need more “Imagineering” in TEL

For discussing some leadership issues I came across Walt Disney’s creativity model. He talked about “Imagineering” combining imagination and engineering. I think for a lot ot TEL projects it would be good to think more in terms of Walt’s perspectives on bringing dreams to solutions.

Walt had three perspectives on creativity the dreamer, the realist, and the critic.

  • The dreamer has no limits, give me a magic wand and all imagination.
  • The realist embeds this in reality and ask what is real and what is feasible?
  • The critic looks at the most critical barriers and be the devil’s advocate.

So for your next TEL workshop just split up in rooms and take the three positions and try to synchronize them. Can be very helpful !

Some selected links:


Walt Disney about adding sound to cartoons 😉

the obsession of reverse engineering drum machine beats …

I really like drum’n’bass  and Jojo Mayer is one of my favorite drummers … in his TED X talk he talks about reverse engineering drum machine beats to play machine beats as a human. He talks about creating the illusion of being a machine as a human … a fake … he talks about freeing himself as at the moment when he had developed the skills to play like a machine he could add emotion and improvisation … really like this approach what would that mean about a post machine approach or a cybernetic approach … interesting perspective …

so humans that can compute the difference between 0 and 1 😉

check it out at


Ubuntu, Cheap Asus Laptop, and SSD

Just have setup an ASUS F201E with a SSD drive and Ubuntu on it. I will use that setup to test out some minimal setups and Ubuntu software.

This looks like a really good working machine.

  • Fast and responsive
  • Price of the complete setup together 300 Euros
  • Lightweight like a Macbook Air
  • I say all software free that I basically need beside special development stuff for OS X
  • Dropbox works good
  • LibreOffice is nice, some compatibility might come up
  • web-based iCLoud on an Ubuntu Laptop might be interesting


  • keyboard not that good as a MacBook one
  • trackpad strange if you are used to MacBook, with external mouse is ok, probably with more EMACS use this will be irrelevant 😉
  • battery life not 5 hours or more but about 3 when you save
  • but Hei, at least I know more or less what eats up the disk space on my machine.
  • Some syncing difficult, so why is there no Evernote client for Ubuntu, the ones I tried have not made me enthusiast .
  • missing Jottacloud client

So more to come.


mLearn 2013 and a new President ;-)

I am just back from mLearn 2013 the annual world conference on mobile and contextual learning that took place in Doha, Dakar.

The conference featured an outstanding program and focused on the mobile learning activities in the GCC region (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE). Several mobile learning activities from big classroom programs with rollouts of thousand of tablet computers and professional training programs using mobile technologies have been presented in the practitioner track of the conference.

Furthermore in the scientific track of the conference a peer reviewed selection of international research has been presented from all over the world and is available via Open Access published at

Furthermore I have been elected the Preseident of the IAmLearn Association and starting to think about activities and plans for the near future of IAmlearn. I am sure we will see an exciting conference next year again with outstanding papers and soon some interesting and community growing activities in the IAmlearn community.

Watch out at and for the yearly conferences.

New Publication on TEL and Interdisciplinarity

Thanks to Marco Kalz, for discussing and joint paper on

” Assessing the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning with science overlay maps and diversity measures.”

Abstract: This paper deals with the assessment of the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning (TEL). Based on a general discussion of the concept interdisciplinarity and a summary of the discussion in the field two empirical methods from scientometrics are introduced and applied. Science overlay maps and the Rao-Stirling-Diversity index are used to analyze the TEL field with a scientometric analysis. The science overlay maps show that a wide variety of disciplines contribute to research in the field. The analysis reveals that the field has been operating on a relatively high level of crossdisciplinarity in the last 10 years compared to 6 other fields of reference. Only in 2004 a decrease in the level of crossdisciplinarity could be identified.


Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (in press). Assessing the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning with science overlay maps and diversity measures. British Journal of Educational Technology. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12092