Thursday, January 28, 2010

PKM is much more than "aggregate - filter - connect"

Harold Jarche and Tim Kastelle wrote about Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) as a process of "aggregate - filter - connect". Stephen Downes criticized the proposed process, noting that it misses the crucial actions of "remix" and "repurpose". I totally agree with Stephen here, that the proposed process provides a VERY simplified vision that captures only a small part of the PKM process.

I would further add that the proposed process also misses some concepts which are also crucial for PKM/learning (in my eyes, PKM and learning are just two sides of the same coin), such as learning from failures and reflection.

In an earlier post, I talked about learning/PKM as the continuous creation of a personal knowledge network (PKN). For each learner/knowledge networker, a PKN is a unique adaptive repertoire of:

- Tacit and explicit knowledge nodes (i.e. people and information) (external level)

- One's theories-in-use. This includes norms for individual performance, strategies for achieving values, and assumptions that bind strategies and values together (conceptual/internal level)

This implies that a learner/knowledge worker needs not only to be a good knowledge networker (i.e. one who has the ability to aggregate, filter and connect as well as to remix and repurpose), but also a good double-loop learner; i.e. one who has the ability to:

- Construct her own representation of the theories-in-use of the whole.

- Reflect

- (Self-)criticize

- Detect and correct errors with norms and values specified by the new setting.

- Inquire

- Test, challenge, and eventually change her theories-in-use (i.e. her private image of the theories-in-use of the whole) according to the new setting.

The main message is that PKM/learning is much more than "aggregate - filter - connect".

Apple iPad

It seems that 99% of the blogposts and tweets today are about the new Apple iPad. A good summary is provided at Mashable. Below is the official video of the new iPad from the Apple Website.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are Communities of Practice Dead?

Communities of Practice from Multi Media Vision on Vimeo.

I found this video of an interview with Etienne Wenger talking about Communities of Practice (CoPs) in organizations (thanks to Joitske Hulsebosch).

Over the last years, I've been following research in KM and TEL around CoPs. CoPs have been widely suggested as a possible way to implement the people-driven approach to KM and deal with tacit knowledge (especially between 1998 and 2004). However, I still did not come across a study that reflects a successful application of the CoP concept (I would appreciate if someone could point me to such a study). I guess the reason is that most of the CoPs are dead before people start evaluating them. Actually, the studies that I found, including this one by Richard McDermott, who co-authored the book "Cultivating Communities of Practice" together with Etienne Wenger and Bill Snyder, show that something must be wrong with CoPs and that we do need a rethinking of this concept.

In my eyes, the concept of CoP has no future. This is mainly due to the fact that CoPs are organized from the top down and thus can only work in a stable and controlled environment. CoPs cannot work within today's increasingly complex and fast-changing knowledge/learning environments. As with complex adaptive systems, self-organization and emergence should be the solution. Over the past couple of years, with the democratization of the tools of production and distribution on the Web, there is a clear shift from CoPs to networked individualism. It becomes everyday obvious that closed, bounded, structured, and hierarchical CoPs are facing slow death, giving place to open, distributed, diverse, and self-organized knowledge ecologies, that emerge naturally from the bottom-up connections of personal knowledge networks (PKN). Facebook and Twitter are good examples of this inevitable shift.

Wenger would say CoPs are everywhere and we are living at the intersection of many of them. I would say I disagree. We are not merely members of CoPs nor are we living at the intersection of many of them. Each of us is rather at the center of his or her very own PKN.

I've read about the new role of "community manager", which is supposed to be widely adopted by organizations in the coming years. In my opinion, the only thing that a "community manager" can achieve is to manage his or her PKN and, even then, only imperfectly. "Communities" or the open version of the same; i.e. networks can never be managed. Organizations do not need a "community manager", what they do actually need is to provide an open and freeform environment, conducive to networking at both external and internal/conceptual levels. That is, an environment where people can freely make connections, see patterns, reflect, (self)-criticize, detect/correct errors, inquire, and test, and thus build, extend, and restructure their PKNs.

Are CoPs really dead? I'm very interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

YouTube and Vimeo Launch Support for HTML5

YouTube and Vimeo recently announced their support for HTML5 videos, i.e. videos that can be played directly in the browser, rather than within an Adobe's Flash player container. This is however still in beta test and has several limitations (e.g. works only with HTML5-compatible browsers Chrome/Safari).

Monday, January 25, 2010

What is PubSubHubbub?

A video providing a nice overview on PubSubHubbub; a simple pubsub protocol, as compared to the complex XEP-0060 (XMPP protocol extension for publish-subscribe).

Friday, January 22, 2010


Via Graham Attwell.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Social Media in Europe and Germany

Via Wolfgang Reinhardt.

A video about social media in Europe and Germany. Not very different from the use of social media in the rest of the world ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pedagogical Foundations For Personal Learning by Stephen Downes

A nice slideset by Stephen Downes who talked at the Learning Futures Festival about personal learning and PLEs. Audio is also available here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Predictions for 2010

Predications for 2010 by eLearn Magazine staff and contributors ...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nexus One vs. iPhone vs. Droid

A comparison chart by BillShrink comparing the current popular smartphones, including Google's new Nexus One. Tim O'Reilly wrote here about his experience with Nexus One ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

CfPs IEETeL 2010

International Workshop on
Interactive Environments and Emergent Technologies for e-Learning (IEETeL 2010)
held in conjunction with the
ICEEEL 2010 : "International Conference on e-Education and e-Learning"

France, PARIS
28-30 June 2010


The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers, educators and technology experts to
share and discuss the new solutions, trends and realizations of e-Learning environments and the adoption of emergent technologies in a learning process.

New kind of learners require suitable environments ensuring flexible, personalized, adaptable,
in-demand learning. The dynamic, interactive and social aspects of Web 2.0 have great potential
to support innovative teaching and meaningful learning. Semantic web enables computers and people to work in cooperation, 3D virtual worlds support new online experiences of research and learning, augmented reality helps deeper understanding of subject matter, mobile technologies play a role in increasing individual support and opportunities for personal development.

This forum invites research, technical papers, and work in progress investigating e-Learning
environments process development and practices of their implementation in education to support university students as well as to prepare them to become self-organized and life-long learners. These include the technological aspect of environments building: “from scratch”, using open source software or mashup applications from a cloud as well as pedagogical strategies and solutions for utilizing such environments.

Topics of interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Web 2.0 Applications for Learning
• 3D Virtual Environments
• Semantic Web
• Educational MashUps
• Immersive technologies in ADL
• Networks/Grids for learning
• Adaptive and intuitive environments
• Personal Learning Environments
• Mobile learning environments and applications
• Augmented Reality Implementation

Paper subsmission and publication


Authors are invited to submit original unpublished research as full papers (6-8 pages) or
work-in-progress as short papers (max. 4 pages).

All submitted papers will be peer-reviewed by at least three members of the program committee for originality, significance, clarity, and quality.

For manuscripts preparation authors have to use the details on the ICEEEL 2010 : "International Conference on e-Education and e-Learning" site.

The Refereed Conference Proceedings (ISSN: 2070-3740 & ISSN: 2070-3724 reviewed and indexed by Engineering Index (Compendex), EBSCO, GALE, DOAJ, INTUTE, ScientificCommons and Electronic Journals Library) will be internationally distributed both in Electronic CD-ROM Format and Proceedings Book.
The Refereed Conference Proceedings Book and CD-ROM will be included in each Conference Registrant's Packet.

Important dates

March 18, 2010 Workshop paper submission
April 10, 2010 Workshop paper notification
April 30, 2010 Camera ready paper
June 28-30, 2010 Conference Dates

Program Committee

Toshio Okamoto, University of Electro-Communications,Tokyo, Japan
Gabriela Grosseck, West University of Timisoara, Romania
Reggie Smith III, United States Distance Learning Association
Inge de Waard, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, Belgium
Ion Roceanu, "Carol l" National Defence University, Romania
Marco Temperini, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Mohamed Amine Chatti, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Dimiter Denev, Max Planck Instiut Informatik, Germany
Volin Karagiozov, American University in Bulgaria, Bulgaria
Jennifer Richardson, Purdue University, USA
Alev Elci, Eastern Mediterranean University, Turkey
Javed Alam, Youngstown State University, USA


The IEETel 2010 Workshop is held in conjunction with
ICEEEL 2010 : "International Conference on e-Education and e-Learning".
All participants of the workshop are required to register for the main conference, but there will be no additional workshop fee.

Please, visit the workshop web site
( ) and the conference web site ( for further details.