Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Goodbye 2008, hello 2009

2008 was a very interesting year. I began to see how Web 2.0 can be applied and how m-learning can work. It was a year of experimentation, discovery and lots of trials and errors. In short, 2008 provided the opportunity of learning more about emerging technologies. I actually made time (and enjoyed) trying out a few of the tools to see how they could benefit learners: blogs, Twitter, Wikis, YouTube, Delicious, Slideshare and more.

I recall, how in 1989, I’d suggested the three ways to describe learning and the computer: about, from and with. These three approaches are still relevant today.

Learning about the computer is what computer literacy is all about. Learning from the computer was about CAI/L, CALL, CBI/E/T and so on. Today, it is about learning from the Internet. After all, there are hundreds of thousands of educational treasures out on the Web and one can learn from these treasures. However, it is learning with the computer that has always attracted my attention. It sort of, has more meaning for me.

I see great significance in having, in today’s terms, the Internet being the learner’s companion. With social networking tools (a.k.a. Web 2.0), the learner is learning together with the tools and whoever else is using them. However, whatever tool is used, the interactions have to be meaningful and natural to the learner.

And, you know what? Web 2.0 works well for both the introvert and extrovert learner. The introvert learner will thrive in online discussions for example, compared to discussions in the classroom, face-to-face. He or she will have time to digest the discourse or the interactions among his/her course mates, reflect and then share his/her opinions, give suggestions, etc. to the group. For the extrovert learner, socializing online has the potential to bring in more “friends” and some of the tools allow for some form of immediacy which the extrovert learner enjoys.

In short, Web 2.0 is promising and 2009 looks like a year of applying these tools in one of my courses. I am looking forward to using Web 2.0. There is so much the learner can learn with Web 2.0!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Learning to learn

I was looking through some of the slides available on Slideshare when I came across this:

Sometimes we become so complex after learning about all the theories and principles of learning. A refreshing look at learning helps!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

The World is Open . . .

is the title of Curtis Bonk's book that will be released by Wiley in June 2009. Curt emailed the synopsis and TOC of the book this morning and I can't wait to read it. It's timely...should be today, not six months from now!

I believe Open Learning will the next wave in learning. Institutions that wish to move ahead or at least stay relevant must start going into it now. Curt has also started blogging on things related to the book....follow it at:

If you wish to know more about open learning, the references from the book are at:

In the book, curt offers a We-All-Learn model. Read more about it at:

This book is a must have for all in higher education. All libraries must have a copy!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The future of social networking through mobile phones?

Can you imagine this....going to a meeting or a party and finding out who everyone is in the room through your mobile phone! Not only that. You can get their pictures and profiles and check to see if you want to message any of them! Read more at How many would be ready or comfortable with this I wonder? Will you?

It looks like mobile technologies will change faster than any other technology we have known so far!

Then there's the Google phone that we will see launched early 2009 using the Android mobile operating system. Read more in:

mLearning research

Talking about mLearning, the Institute of Education, University of London, published about a year ago a document entitled, "Mobile learning: Towards a research agenda." Part of their innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, the publication features a selection of research papers presented at a symposium on mobile learning held in February 2007. The papers focus on learning rather than technology and written by speakers invited to contribute to the symposium.

I think every educator should at least glance through it. Best to read most, if not all, of the chapters in it. Check it out at:

Mobile Content Challenge (MCC) 2008

It was interesting to have attended the MCC2008 Prize Giving Ceremony yesterday at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur. A significant portion of the audience were members of the media, the industry partners who acted as mentors to the participating teams, the finalists and members of the winning teams. Other attendees were representatives from the higher education institutions.

There were three speeches, each highlighting a few interesting facts. What Mr Sandi Das, the CEO of Maxis Communications Berhad said was something to take note of. There are 20-23 million mobile phone users in Malaysia (out of 26-27 million population) and 4 out of 6 billion mobile phone users in the world are expected to use their mobile for information, learning, games and to perform banking and business related transactions. Thus, m-learning, m-entertainment, m-banking, m-commerce and so on. He mentioned that there is plenty of opportunity for Malaysians to create content for these uses! Part of the goals of the MCC is to create entrepreneurship among young Malaysians. Who knows, they can conquer the world economy through local creations!

Datuk Halim Shafie, the Director General of the Malaysian Communications for Multimedia Commission highlighted the fact that the number of 3G subscribers have risen from 1.5 to 3.6 million over the past one year and that by 2011, we will see more mobile data than voice data flowing through the mobile air waves. It is expected that 50 percent of Malaysians will be broadband users by 2010.

Y.B. Dato' Shaziman Abu Mansor, Minister of Energy, Water and Communications Malaysia expressed that the government wants to see more mobile content developers. RM50 million has been allocated as seed funding for mobile content developers. He was there to launch the event and praised the winners for their entrees.

It appears that we will soon be going through an exciting era next. Notice how computers have shrunk in size in spite of greater computing power over the past 25 years? And the convergence of information, computer and mobile technologies? I think educators need to seriously think of mLearning next!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Learning how to use SPSS

The first if not one of the first SPSS workshops for OUM academics and staff brought full house attendance. Organised by IQRI (Institute of Quality Management, Research and Innovation) as part of its efforts to promote research efforts at the Open University Malaysia, the workshop was conducted by Mr Ng Man San. He's a research consultant at OUM and has provided a useful hands-on session. I believe, this was a good start for those conducting survey research in the near future. Glad to say, participants appreciated the workshop and looking forward to more in the near future.

Technology and Socially-based Learning

George Siemens was excellent when he spoke to a bunch of academics at UCSI in Kuala Lumpur yesterday! Based at the University of Manitoba, he was in KL for just a few hours to deliver an impactful session.

He spoke on the connected learner, net pedagogy, in what way is learning networked, learning as a network phenomenon (+knowledge and +experience of learning), how we have collaborative ties (e.g. through email, Twitter and Second Life), how learning must be the development of a person and of course, how technology is now enabling the latter (in contrast to the massification of education through a pre-set curriculum, prescribed textbooks, same mode of assessment) and so on.

He also talked about power shifts, power play and participatory pedagogy. Also, about open learn and so on. More important, he's very realistic in the context of today's world and believes in providing the learner with a blended mode of learning!

If you get a chance to listen to him in person in the future, I'd urge you to do so. He was just fantastic for any serious educator who wish to make a difference to learning today!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

George Siemens in KL!

If you're up to date with learning theories, you probably know about the new Connectivist theory proposed by George Siemens. He will be in a forum hosted by UCSI on Tuesday 9 December from 2pm to 4pm. I plan to be there!

Anyway, you can read about connectivism and all of Siemens' work at:

Also, view his other web site at:

eLearning Asia Day in Las Vegas

One can imagine as well as not imagine Las Vegas as a location for serious conferences. The fact is, Las Vegas is not only an entertainment capital of the world but also host to some of the more serious conferences. Remember COMDEX? Why Las Vegas?

Anyway, I've not attended anything better than what we had at eLearning Asia Day held before the main eLearn conference. Twelve presenters from 12 Asian countries! We learnt a lot from each country's efforts in eLearning and some of us will soon be collaborating with each other on interesting research projects!

Learn more about what took place from Tom Reynolds' blog at

eLearn2008 Conference

One of the best international conferences I've attended in terms of content and interaction was eLearn2008! The keynotes and invited speakers were excellent and several papers in the parallel sessions were noteworthy.

I think Stella Lee from Athabasca University did a good summary of the keynote and invited speakers. Please view Stella's blog at:

Many of us enjoyed the conference. Thanks to the conference organisation committee: Curt Bonk, Tom Reynolds and Mimi Lee! Actually, he needs no introduction but just in case you're new to eLearning, Curt Bonk, chair of the organisation committee is in the photo above.