Archive for November, 2007

Escaping the Age of Speed: New Paradigms of Learning as Impacted by Social Technologies

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

This is a recording of a presentation I delivered at the SURF Education Days 2007, in Utrecht, Netherlands. I used VCASMO to sync the slides with the presentation afterwards.

The industrial revolution changed the meaning of the word “speed” from “good luck, success, prosperity and advancement” to something that resembles machine-like mechanical speed, effectively disconnecting context from time.

This thinking was later captured by increasing focus on efficiency in industrial organizations, a model that was also adopted by our educational system to meet the demands of efficient organizations of tomorrow. As we move towards a real-time economy, social software is shifting our thinking from efficiency to responsiveness and ability to adapt. Context is once again connecting with time and as a result, our system is facing increasing pressures to change. What opportunities, challenges and new ways of relating will emerge?

Click the magnifying glass to get the video in full-screen.

Interview with Stephen Downes at SURF Education Days 2007

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

I interviewed Stephen Downes at SURF Education Days 2007 in Utrecht, Netherlands. The conference was mainly about professional education. Thanks for the organizers for inviting me.

I’ve known Stephen’s great newsletter since 2001. He covered my previous project called MimerDesk on March 29, 2002 with the following notes:

For those of you looking for alternatives to six-figure learning management systems, here is an alternative that my be easier on your budget (and may change the way you approach online learning).

Well, MimerDesk really didn’t change the world in general but it teached me many things about the value of openness and thinking differently about online learning. The project has been discontinued since 2003, when I started to work on Dicole.

In february 2005 I interviewed Stephen Downes for a podcast and since then we have been watching the work of each other closely. Stephen’s work has been a source of inspiration for me for many years and I consider him as one of my real teachers since I left the cathedrals of traditional education. Finally we had the opportunity to meet in person at the dutch edu-blogger dinner (thanks to Wilfred Rubens and Keith Russell) and later at the SURF Education Days 2007 conference.

We both had presentations at the conference. I recorded Stephen’s great presentation on free learning vs. control learning and my own that will be available later. Until then, here is a video interview with Stephen Downes as we retreated from the conference to a restaurant to have a conversation on all things related to learning:

Here is a podcast version, if you want to listen it instead: [MP3, 14MB]

Privacy looters

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

I wrote recently about privacy issues related to Facebook, especially how private companies get away with it and the public just loves them. Everyone who reads Slashdot has already seen this, but anyway here are a couple of additional resources for the issue for those who are interested:

Clay Shirky has some interesting observations there. Employers can use the information they find about you online for anything they want. He points that if you aim a shotgun mic at someone or listen into the conversations of others on a public place that turns you into a weirdo. In the other hand, if Facebook employees aim “shotgun mics” at you it cannot be detected and they can get away with it much more easily.

A recent study also found that an average American is largely unaware of their privacy online and most (about 55%) falsely assumed that company’s privacy policies prohibited it from sharing their online activities with third parties.

“The more they know about you, the less you are.” – Marshall McLuhan


I will be in Netherlands, Utrecht next week for the SURF Education Days, as is Stephen Downes. There is a blogger dinner on monday.


I plan to start a videoblog about some of my activities at Dicole, 5 minutes per day. Because I’m quite busy I can’t do all this by myself so I need to find someone from Helsinki area who can help me. He/she should know some graphic design, video editing, sound processing, speaks english, can operate a video camera and has a great attitude. If you know someone or would like to work for an innovative company on a good spot looking at the adoption of social media within organizations, please contact me.