Networked Learning Conference 2010 – Cfp

At Aalborg University we’re very proud to host the 7th international conference on Networked Learning 3rd & 4th May, 2010.

The Networked Learning Conference is an international, research-based conference. Since its inception in 1998 the conference has developed a strong following by international researchers. In addition it is well supported by practitioners, managers and learning technologists interested in contributing to and hearing about research in this area. The conference is considered a major event in the international ‘technology enhanced learning’ conference circuit. Conference papers are peer reviewed by international researchers in the field, and published in proceedings and online.

Keynote Speakers
The 2010 conference features keynote presentations and discussions by two leading international researchers: Yrjö Engeström & Etienne Wenger.


Conference themes
The conference is an opportunity to participate in a forum for the critical examination and analysis of research in networked learning i.e. learning and teaching carried out largely via the Internet/Web which emphasizes dialogical learning, collaborative and cooperative learning, group work, interaction with on-line materials, and knowledge production.

Papers critically reporting on the results of research and evaluation in Networked Learning are invited on the main themes of:

  • Understanding, Designing and Facilitating Learning in a Networked World
  • Theories and Methodologies for Research in Networked Learning
  • Impact on Learning of Networked Technologies
  • Learning in Social Networks and Networked Learning
  • Participation and Alienation in Networked Learning
  • Embedding Networked Learning in Public and Private Organizations
  • Formal and Informal learning in Networked Learning
  • Work Based Networked Learning and Knowledge Management
  • Problem Based Networked Learning
  • Practice Based Research for Professional Development
  • Issues of Social Justice and Social Responsibility in Networked Learning
  • Globalization and Interculturality in Networked Learning
  • Networked Learning and International Development

Conference papers will be peer reviewed by international researchers, and published in electronic proceedings and online. The conference steering committee will be supporting symposium organizers in publishing selected papers in special issues of refereed journals.

Submission date
Last date for submission of full papers for review: Friday 13th November, 2009

More details on submission

Further information about Networked Learning
You may find inspiration in the conference proceedings from previous years, and here I’ve copied a definition of networked learning from the British “Networked Learning in Higher Education” project:

Networked Learning:
learning in which C&IT is used to promote connections: between one learner and other learners, between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources.

Questions about the conference?
Please note that I’m not personally involved in the organization of this conference – questions should be directed to NLC Committee Administrator, Alice Jesmont, Educational Research Department, County South, Lancaster University, Lancaster. LA1 4YD. UK

Symposium on Second Life in networked distance education
I would like to use this opportunity to invite 2-3 other distance educators using SL to participate in creating a suggestion for a symposium on the use of SL in networked distance education – if this has caught your interest please contact me for further elaborations in-world or on regular e-mail:

I’m hoping to see many Danish and International colleagues at this conference :-)


Research stay at the Danish School of Education

Next week I’ll be visiting Professor, PhD Birgitte Holm Sørensen, Director of the Research Programme, Media and ICT in a Learning Perspective at the Danish School of Education.


Both Birgitte  and I are members of the steering committee of The Masterprogramme in ICT and Learning (MIL), and we’ve known each other for years now. Birgitte’s areas of expertise include;  ICT/New media in combination with children, young people, teaching and learning and curriculum/ educational design. Birgitte is also responsible for the 4th module in the MIL education – the module where my SL course (my primary PhD case) is based.

Besides giving a presentation on the teaching and learning potential of SL to the members of Birgitte’s research programme, I intend to use this opportunity to discuss and further develop some of the central findings and concepts in my PhD, so I’m really looking forward to this stay :-)


CCK08 continues in 2009

From Stephen Downes’ weekly newsletter I learned that he has posted a description of the Connectivism & Connective Knowledge (also known as CCK08) course on the Access to Open Educational Resources (a UNESCO community) – and if you’re interested in course design the description is well worth a read.  The CCK08 ran for 12 weeks during the fall 2008, butI only found time to participate by lurking, nonetheless it was very inspirational, and I still return to many of the course resources on a regular basis:

In his newsletter Downes also reveals that he and George Siemens will run the course again this fall, and from the cross posting of the course description on Downes’ own blog I saw that one of the course participants, Sui Fai John Mak, has created a Ning to continue networked explorations of connectivism, technology, web 2.0, education and research. As far as I can tell, anyone interested in these topics can join the network – participation in the CCK08 is not a requirement. Since I still don’t have sufficient time to devote to those topics, I’m reluctant to join, but I will try to follow their endeavors …

Via another partcipant’s blogpost, Jenny Mackness, I found this video created by three other participants, Viplav Baxi, Carlos Casares and Maru del Campo as part of their final CCK08 project.

I appreciate the humor and the Cat vs. Dog learning style, but what really struck me as intersting was their PLE’s – especially when these were merged, I think they illustrated very well the complexity of learning via connected technology and people – great job :-)


Exploring Knowledge Media

Next week I’ll be attending a conference and a Master Class on “Knowledge Media” at Aarhus University.


The purpose of the Knowledge Media Conference is to discuss the role of new digital media within education in the knowledge society. What are the potentials of digital media in relation to learning, knowledge sharing and knowledge construction? The conference will focus on use of digital media for learning and knowledge acquisition in both formal and informal situations. The conference includes presentations from invited keynote speakers. Further, the conference will present the results of a research project at the Centre for IT & Learning on Knowledge media, 2007-2008.


  • Education for all?
  • New learning environments: Web 2.0 and Social Software
  • Knowledge media
  • Formal and informal learning


  • Terry Anderson, Athabasca University, Canada
  • Friedrich Hesse, Knowledge Media Research Center, Tübingen, Germany
  • Lars Qvortrup, School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Jørgen Bang, Institute of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Lynne Schrum, George Mason University, USA

I’m especially interested in hearing Anderson’s talk on “Learning and Teaching beyond the Course Into Networks and Collectives”. The idea that social media, knowledge media or whatever you wish to call new digital media, slowly will dissolve our notion of courses (understood as fixed, teacher-driven activities) as a means of learning seems to gain more and more recognition and attention, and it’ll be interesting to hear Anderson’s thoughts on this in my own area (distance education) – not least since my PhD fundamentally is about course design, hmmm …

The Master Class, with Terry Anderson and Simon Heilesen (senior researcher at the Virtual Worlds Research, Roskilde University) as speakers, will also adress the potentials of digital media in relation to learning, knowledge sharing and knowledge construction. I’ll do a short presentation of Second Life as Knowledge Medium in Distance Education based on my experiences with the MIL course in the 2 research cycles so far. I think it’s a really good idea to hold the Master Class the day after the conference, because I’m quite sure many questions and ideas will come to me, so it’s nice to get an opportunity to discuss more informally.


Design and Education Thinking with Gregory and Moholy-Nagy

This week I’ve been attending both a seminar and a PhD course with Judith Gregory, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology and Anne Marie Kanstrup, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University. This post is mainly an overview of my impressions from the seminar – I’ll return to more explicit content issues and a few but very important decisions I’ve made based on especially the PhD course.

On Tuesday, January 13th Gregory was invited to speak at an internal ELL seminar. Besides Gregory, Kanstrup and ELL’s leader, Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld (my main PhD supervisor) we were 8 PhD candidates and researchers from ELL and two researchers from Department of Development and Planning. After Dirckinck-Holmfeld had given a short introduction to ELL and the general research and educational /pedagogical strategies of Aalborg University, we all described our research interests to give Gregory an overview of the multidisciplinary field we’re working in.

Colleagues in the E-Learning Lab

Gregory then introduced her background, which in the short version includes the following:

  • Institute of Design, IIT, Chicago (since 2005)
  • University of Oslo, Department of Informatics (2001-2005 faculty, 1999-2000 research fellow)
  • Oslo School of Architecture & Design (2003-2006 Professor II, Doctoral Research)
  • Ph.D. in Communication, University of California-San Diego (2000) (Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition & 3 areas)

When describing her current research interest, it became evident that we would be able to find common ground in many areas:

  • Formal scientific contributions and social commitments & social inclusion
  • Transdisciplinarity in design: thinking across domains & disciplines
  • Social practices basis for understanding users
  • International and inter-cultural collaboration
  • Reciprocal understanding across context
  • Design for negotiation of disparate logics

Judith Gregory

Besides showing us a number of very interesting case studies she has been involved in, Gregory also shared a very thoughtful and quite progressive statement from the prospectus brochure made by the founder of the School of Design (Institute as of 1944), Lázló Moholy-Nagy back in 1939:

Moholy-Nagy’s 1939 statement

Unfortunately this picture is rather unclear, but what I found especially remarkable was Moholy-Nagy’s thoughts on the teacher-student relationship and the potential fruitful learning process:

In the School of Design, the student’s self-expression is never compared with the work of a past “genius”. On the contrary, instead of studying the master, the student is encouraged and urged to study that which the great man himself studied in his day – those fundamental principles and facts on which all design of all times is based. Instead of relying on some other man (however ingenious) to describe truth to him, the student here must study here first of all the truth itself. Just as the genius of old had to do, the student must “strike down to bed rock” and build upward for himself, within himself, gaining that happy status of self-experience and experimentation which is the true source of creative achievements.

Then he is ready to study tradition and the contributions of bygones geniuses, enriching his own knowledge by the fruits of their discoveries.

On a more personal level, Gregory told us that her father actually studied under Moholy-Nagy, and that this was one of the reasons why she had found it difficult not to accept the offer of coming to work at the Institute of Design when she was given that opportunity. Another more professional reason for working at the institute was that it has continued to honor and respect the pedagogical foundations of Moholy-Nagy.

moholy-nagy_portrait2Lucia Moholy, László Moholy-Nagy
1926 © Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin

In a truly inspiring paper on Moholy-Nagy’s Design Pedagogy, Findelli (1990) describes how Moholy-Nagy developed his pedagogy based on Bauhaus pedagogy, Goethe’s Naturphilosphie and Dewey’s pragmatism.

In bridging the social responsibility with a scientific method based on intuition and problem based experimentation facilitated by a nondirective, noninterventionist, and nonviolent teacher it’s my impression that Moholy-Nagy managed to found a visionary pedagogical philosophy and practice that must have been (and maybe still is) quite provocative and radical to many educators. Findelly (1990:19) concludes that “the general pedagogical approach of Moholy-Nagy, if correctly adapted to the new circumstances, still constitutes a valid preparation toward the tasks that await future designers”. So let me finish this post by quoting Moholy-Nagy once again, this time on his thoughts on designers:

To be a designer means not only to sensibly manipulate techniques and analyze production processes, but also to accept the concomitant social obligations … Thus quality of design is dependent not alone on function, science, and technological processes, but also upon social consciousness. (from Findelli. 1990:19)

Personally, I could rather easily replace designer and design with educator and education hereby deducing that educators are a certain type of designers!

After the seminar we were all invited to Dirckinck-Holmfeld and her husband Arne Remmen’s house for dinner where we continued more informal talks on design, education, politics and democracy, which was a beautiful way to end a perfect day :-)

Lone and Arne’s kitchen



Findelli, A. (1990): Moholy-Nagy’s Design Pedagogy in Chicago (1937-46)
Design Issues, Vol. 7, No. 1, Educating the Designer (Autumn, 1990), pp 4-19
The MIT Press