MasterClass Technology Enhanced Mobile Learning

On friday 11th of october I gave a master class at the hogschool Inholland (Masteropleiding Leren & Innoveren l Domein Onderwijs, Leren en Levensbeschouwing l Hogeschool Inholland).

About 46 Teachers from mainly sceondary and higher education have been participating in a very inspiring and constructive event. I learned a lot thanks for all participants. So what did I hope do get across:

I talked about my vision on technology enhanced learning in general, the purpose of technology John Hattie’s Visible Learning Book and the limited effects of technology. I also talked about the effects we are aiming at with our researcg group in CELSTEC from awareness, to curiosity, reflection, contextualized knowledge acquisition amonngst others. I also talked about different technologies we are exploring mobile smartphones with dedicated app sets for different topics, ambient and situated displays, the role of sensors and sensing and the importance of feedback and closed feedback loops.

I introduced the model of inquiry based-learning and talked about the basic weSPOT set of tools available. Several teachers approached me about possibilities of using this in their classroom. We are looking forward to have the first set of dutch training materials soon.

One interesting discussion where practical issues meet research is the question how to handle the problem in the classroom if one should allow mobiles on in the classroom or strictly switch them off. One main outcome I would consider is the fact that dedicated tasks and purposes for the use of mobiles and smartphones in student assignments and groupwork is essential.

I also did the “create your app” exercise with the group and the results have been great. I enjoyed the work a lot and I am looking forward to the next workshop or masterclass with such enthusiastic and constructive groups.


New Publications e-learning conference Belgrade

Two new publications together with Roland Klemke from the e-learning conference in Belgrade,
the papers are available from

Title: Enhancing learning with technology
Authors: Specht, Marcus
Klemke, Roland

Title: Multi-stakeholder decision training games with ARLearn
Authors: Klemke, Roland
Ternier, Stefaan
Kalz, Marco
Schmitz, Birgit
Specht, Marcus

The presentations are available from:

Title: Technology Enhanced Learning
Authors: Klemke, Roland
Specht, Marcus

Title: Multi-stakeholder decision training games with ARLearn
Authors: Klemke, Roland
Ternier, Stefaan
Kalz, Marco
Schmitz, Birgit
Specht, Marcus

Keynote at NBE2013 Conference in Finland

Today I gave a talk at the NBE2013 conference in Pyhä, FInland.

The conference is in a very nice location in Lappland/FInland and the title Media Education in No Man’s Land really fits as we are out in the wild and discussing on the use of media and technologies in education.

Here I provide some background and information for the talk:

  1. All our slides and the referred papers can be found on In my talk I referred to several related works and organisations these included:

    1. as the organisation in the Netherlands for linking ICT and Schools.
    2. is the WIKIwijs project for creating and aggregating learning materials in dutch schools
    3. 4 in balance for introducing new technologies in eduational settings, this can be found on the website
  2. Some PhD Works I referred to are

    1. Glahn, C. (2009). Contextual support of social engagement and reflection on the Web. Doctoral thesis. September, 18, 2009, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open University of the Netherlands, CELSTEC.
    2. Verpoorten, D. (2012). Reflection amplifiers in self-regulated learning. Doctoral thesis. November, 9, 2012, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open Universiteit (CELSTEC). Datawyse / Universitaire Pers Maastricht.
    3. Kelle, S. (2012). Game Design Patterns for Learning. November, 9, 2012, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open Universiteit in the Netherlands, CELSTEC. Aachen: Shaker Verlag.
  3. The toolking ARLearn I was referring to, you can find information about ARLearn here
  4. You can soon find my slides on but now already have a look at my slideshare. 

National Workshop on Seamless Learning Support with SURF Academy

The videos are now online and the talk is recorded very nice! Thanks SURF Academy!

Today I gave a keynote at the Symposium:

“Altijd en overal vertrouwd toegang tot de leer- en samenwerkingsomgeving” 

“Anytime and Everywhere Personal Access to your Learning and Collaboration Facilities”

About 100 persons mostly from higher education are participating in the event, you can download my introdoctury keynote here: 


Specht, M. (2013, 21 March). Seamless Learning Support. Keynote given at the Seminar Altijd en overal vertrouwd toegang tot de leer- en samenwerkingsomgeving organized by SURF Academy, De Glazen Ruimte, Maarssen, The Netherlands.
In the introduction I talked about “the seams” in learning and how we can bridge these gaps with different technologies.
In the parallel session there have been very interesting presentions both on technological questions as sharing hardware and network facilities, or usage of 4G for the mobile learning of the future as also more requirements analysis or user oriented design issues.

New Publication

Keywords: Wireless networks and mobile devices are widely



This allows not only for education independent from

time and place. Also, adaption to individuals, places, and situations

may be realized, and different scenarios are seamlessly



Lucke, U., Specht, M. (2012). Mobilität, Adaptivität und Kontextbewusstsein im E-Learning. i-Com 1.2012.

Instant gratification and slow food ?

Tony Shin has recently created an infographic on instant gratification and changes on the time of feedback and reward in an information society.

I think this gives an interesting perspective on our perception of time, our patience and asks you some reflection.

Some facts from the infographic are:

  • when the replies to Google Searches would be reduced by 4/10ths of a second this would bring down the searches by 8 mil a day from the total 3 bil
  • if your webpage takes more than 4 secs to load 1 in 4 will kill the load
  • 40% of shoppers will abandon the shoppage when it takes longer than 3sec
  • and this is not only visible for information but also for food, half would not return to a restaurant where you would need to wait, 1 in 5 would become rude to the person serving too slow …

So in general I think there are some important problems we will face when looking forward into an ever faster consumption and delivery of information and we need to tackle these points earlier or later:

  1. Ever faster delivery of information leads to impatience of users, but was this like that before? I was in Turin last week and me and my colleague Fred de Vries went to a very nice restaurant, we did not have a reservation before but the waiting in the cue and becoming an appointment for half an hour later was not a sign for the bad quality of the restaurant. In the contrary the full restaurant was the high quality! In the low quality stuff you can get everything everytime, of course in low quality. So you can argue that in the digital age there is an other economy of scale and another relation between the quality of service and the delivery of digital and physical goods. I would be inline with that partly for the level of digital services but I think we tend to forget the human part in information consumption and … learning and making use of delivered information. So I think one should reflect about the quality of human decision making, learning, and we need to define a new quality of human knowledge in an age of instant infromation delivery.
  2. I think it is somehow scaring if humans loose awareness of when they transfer ways of interacting with digital goods onto everyday environments and human-to-human interaction as also their own behavior. I a sense through this human tend to forget about their “unique selling point” in a world where robots alreay win rock-paper-scissors 100%
  3. A certainly related topic is notification and I think one qualitative change in computer systems that has an important impact Technology Enhanced Learning is the ability to use and feedback real time data to humans from ambient and ubiquitous sensor systems. This will definitely leed to an overflow of notification and feedback systems, so shortening the feedback cycles for humans also has a big drawback, i.e. doing that over a longer period of time they loose their tolerance of frustration (btw a basic point of discussion in the education of kids ;-P)

Of course lots of other things to say about this. Thanks Tony for the nice infographic you can find at



Slow food mobile learning

Last week I was participating in a very inspiring workshop at ITC ILO in Turino. With a very interesting group we have been discussing issues around technologies, policies, trends, and questions of mobile learning in a global context. I have learned quite a lot about the use of mobiles in Africa and trends and developments in South Africa.

Jacqueline Batchelor and Adele Botha have been sharing some of their projects and experiences and I think this is very innovative and interesting work and opens a lot of new perspectives also in my perception on mobiles and their potential in an African and world wide context. As I noted earlier in some of my talks often we make the mistake of seeing technology in general too stongly from our cultural context and the development therein. This is perfectly fine as a user as a research in technology development and the use of the technology it is an absolute necessity to reframe ones perspective on the technology and it’s function in a cultural context. This is definitely what you have to and can learn from intercultural research exchange.


Furthermore Turin is a lovely place and one can feel the mood of slow food there this links to another cultural difference and recent reading I have came across. (see next post)