Archive for June, 2007

Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

video Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning

I’ve finally joined my audio recording of my opening keynote at EDEN Conference 2007 with my slides. The presentation was one of my best based on the feedback I got and I’m very happy about it. Thanks for everyone.

I have video of myself too, but the film is in a suitcase in an unknown location. If it is ever retrieved, I will remix this screencast with the video.

The event itself was a conference celebrating its 15th anniversary, focusing on distance education and technology enhanced learning. This year the theme was “New Learning 2.0″ with about 200 papers and presentations involving this topic. The location of the event was in Naples, Italy with over 500 delegates from all around Europe mainly from academic and educational institutions.

In my presentation I’m defining three of my concepts until now unknown to the field of distance education: seredipic learning, homo contextus and parasitic learning. I call for third places of learning running outside of the reach of formal structures. These spaces are run by self-directed connective learners (homo contextus) utilizing abilities in distributed cognition, prosthesis of thinking and parasitic approach to informal learning. Serendipity defines the accidental encounters of individuals in such third places linking the skills and wills of people through social technologies. The social noosphere (mindsphere) extends into a planetary thinking network, effectively decentralizing learning through technological extensions of mind and body. In the shadow of Marshall McLuhan, hard questions are left for reflection regarding New Learning 2.0:

  • What does it extend?
  • What does it make obsolete?
  • What is retrieved?
  • What does it reverse into, if over-extended?

followup Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning

I also got Robin Good from (he is a prime example of homo contextus) and Adrian Guzman (a student from the McLuhan Program) to explore the ideas of Marshall McLuhan a few days after my presentation in Rome. These wonderful thoughts are also available in the screencast.

I have a paper coming up that includes a lot of the ideas put forward in my presentation. I will post it here as soon as I get it out of the door.

Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning
By Teemu Arina (Dicole Ltd.) on 14th of June 2007 in EDEN Conference 2007, Cittá della Scienza, Naples, Italy.

  • Screencast of the presentation + comments from Robin Good and Adrian Guzman [FLASH]
  • Slides of the presentation [Slideshare][PDF]
  • Podcast of the presentation [MP3, 14MB]

Robin Good has an article featuring the transcript of the answers to these tetrad questions.

Lost contact

Monday, June 18th, 2007

I’m back in Finland from Italy. Great trip, a lot of new friends. The problem is, my luggage disappeared on the way back from Fiumicino Airport to Finland along with my collection of business cards, parmigiano and prosciutto.

If you gave me your business card at EDEN conference and want to keep in touch, please drop me an email (teemu at dicole dot com) as it’s not 100% sure I will get my stuff back.

Now I understand why so many Italians think Fiumicino Aeroporto is a mess. 

Online TV from the people to the people

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

My friend Robin Good has a revolutionary idea. To empower the small guy, network new media observers and experts from all around the world together to create a TV channel bringing the brightest minds from the grassroots to the forefront to share their interests from all around the globe. As the clock shifts to another hour, the channel will shift to another timezone, featuring YOU or your favourite expert to express in 5-15 minutes what they think is interesting right now. Everything is done without a business model or expensive equipment. Robin needs your help:


If you, like me, want to change the way we use media, you want to enable the small guy instead of another large media conglomerate, if you want to really innovate and question-by-doing media established ways of filtering and selecting your news, this is an opportunity that gives me and you the ability to start modeling for others what the next age of television news may actually look like.


We need contributors to this revolutionary project. I definately want to hear what you have to say. Contact Robin if you want to make a contribution to the next step in human evolution. The channel will launch this month.

My keynote at EDEN, Serendipity 2.0

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

I just delivered my opening keynote at EDEN conference in Naples, Italy. The title was Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning. I remixed my concept of Homo contextus in it, too. I was very satisfied with the result and I even hit my 30 minute mark with about 40 slides without a problem. Thanks to Sepp, Susan, Robin and Roberto for providing me a third place to reflect on these concepts in Rome.

I constructed my presentation around the ideas of Marshall McLuhan, a visionary observer of new media ahead of his time. I ended my presentation with four questions regarding the title of the conference, technology based on New Learnining 2.0:

  • What does it extend?
  • What does it make obsolete?
  • What is retrieved?
  • What does it reverse into, if it’s over-extended?
  • I will have the recording online as quickly as I get it out of my studio. Until then, here are the slides:

    Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning [Slideshare][PDF]

    Serendipity at EDEN

    Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

    I’m in Rome, Italy and will travel to Naples this week for the EDEN Conference. The theme this year is New Learning 2.0. I quickly calculated that about 50 of the 200 submitted papers have something to do with Web 2.0, tagging, blogs, folksomonies and wikis. On the plane I saw a CNN program called Global Office, dealing with social networking sites and the Web 2.0 phenomena. It looks like we are approaching general awareness of social technologies.

    My keynote presentation will open the conference on 14th of June. I will talk about Serendipity 2.0, missing third places of learning. We have to consider five things:

    • the role of physical spaces in relation to social interaction technologies. Especially spaces that exist out of the reach of formal structures
    • the balance between centralization/decentralization and hierarchies/networks
    • importance of lateral ties among people (non-linearity) in linear processes. Many problems in linear processes can be traced back to problems in sense making
    • formal and informal, serendipity and zemblanity, practice and process. What is the right mix?
    • how we shape our tools and how the tools then shape us

    Internet is like an electric lamp. When the lamp was invented, it casted light to new spaces for people to be in, to interact with and to work in. In a similar way, the internet is creating new spaces for people to be in that were not previously available. Just as the electric lamp transformed our society and shaped us, so will the internet. The technology does nothing on its own. It’s what people do with the technology that transforms us.

    But changes in structure and form are meaningless without corresponding changes in pedagogy. Slow pedagogy (similar to fast and slow food) counters the current culture of acceleration, giving learners time to reflect, to introspect, to argue and to enjoy.