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Keynote at iPads in higher education

I attached my slides from the iPads in Higher Education conference.

There have been quite some interesting examples on case studies and high scale rollouts of iPads as for example a presentation of University of Western Syndey.

In my talk I looked at some special affordances of iPads and also different strategies to support the transition from classical educational settings to digitally enabled ones.

New Publication on TEL and Interdisciplinarity

Thanks to Marco Kalz, for discussing and joint paper on

" Assessing the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning with science overlay maps and diversity measures."

Abstract: This paper deals with the assessment of the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning (TEL). Based on a general discussion of the concept interdisciplinarity and a summary of the discussion in the field two empirical methods from scientometrics are introduced and applied. Science overlay maps and the Rao-Stirling-Diversity index are used to analyze the TEL field with a scientometric analysis. The science overlay maps show that a wide variety of disciplines contribute to research in the field. The analysis reveals that the field has been operating on a relatively high level of crossdisciplinarity in the last 10 years compared to 6 other fields of reference. Only in 2004 a decrease in the level of crossdisciplinarity could be identified.


Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (in press). Assessing the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning with science overlay maps and diversity measures. British Journal of Educational Technology. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12092

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.


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.
TEL dictionary Adaptive Learning Environment

Thanks to Nicolas Balachef who is Chair of the STELLAR TEL dictionary, I have provided a new netry on the TEL deictionary about Adaptive Learning Environment.

In the entry I give a high level view on Adaptive Learning Environments and components. I did quite some research on this topic whi h actually started in my Doctoral Thesis at the University of Trier.

I started the thesis in 1995 and worked for about 3 years very intensively on the topic. Mainly implementing systems and doing experiments on adaptive hypermedia approaches. In this time also Peter Brusilovsky was a visiting scholar in Trier and I enjoyed this time very much and I think it was a very intense working group on the topic.

Also this time had quite some impact on research and market for adaptive educational systems I would say.

Peter Brusilovsky off course is "Mister Adaptive Hypermedia" and still doing lots of interesting research in this area. My doctoral supervisor Prof. Gerhard Weber developed the system we have been working on (based on CL-HTTP, Common Lisp Hypermedia Server from MIT) into a very powerful adaptive learning environment with authoring tool which is marketed under NetCoach as a commercial learning solution. Gerhard Weber also provides lots of very good online courses and materials on the PH Freiburg Learning Server. And still the grand father of all these systems is online the LISP tutorial so if you want to get in AI and learn some LISP this is the place to go ;-).

In my research there I explored some issues on adaptive annotation of hypertexts, adaptive recommender systems, adaptive user interfaces, and others. I have implemented prototypes for adaptive task sequencing, adaptive task selection and user models with different algorithms for modeling user knowledge. Interestingly a lot of the personalisation and adaptation discussion still circles around the basic concepts we have discussed in these days, but of course there are new ways to aggregate and collect data about users, environments and other sources for adaptation.

See Nicolas Blog post about the entry at

Some of my main papers about the works in adaptive hypermedia are:

Specht, M. and A. Kobsa (1999). Interaction of Domain Expertise and Interface Design in Adaptive Educational Hypermedia. Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Adaptive Systems and User Modeling on the World Wide Web at WWW-8, Toronto, Canada, and UM99, Banff, Canada, 89-93.

Specht, M., Oppermann, R., (1998). ACE - Adaptive Courseware Environment. The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 4 (1998), 1, 141 -161. 

Specht, M., (1998). Adaptive Methoden in computerbasierten Lehr/Lernsystemen. In: GMD research series, 98, 24, GMD, Sankt Augustin, (1998), 149 pages , ISBN 3-88457-348-9

Schoech, V., Specht, M., Weber, G., (1998). ADI - An Empirical Evaluation of a Pedagogical Agent. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, ED-MEDIA98. 1998. Freiburg, Germany

Specht, M. (1998). Empirical evaluation of adaptive annotation in hypermedia. In T. Ottmann and I. Tomek, editors, Proceedings of the 10th World Conference on Educational Telecommunications, ED-MEDIA & ED-Telecom '98, Freiburg, Germany, pages 1327--1332, Charlottesville, VA, 1998. AACE.

Specht, M., Weber, G., and Brusilovsky, P., (1995). Episodische Benutzermodellierung zur individuellen Interfaceadaptation. Workshop Adaptivität und Benutzermodellierung in Interaktiven Softwaresystemen. München: Siemens AG. 




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