Blog Archives

What Does It Take to Make a Maker? An Interview with Sandra Schön

“Widespread enthusiasm behind makerspaces in steadily growing” (Horizon Report, 2014). Makerspaces are community-oriented workshops that engage learners in problem-solving through hands-on design and construction, oftentimes combining analog material with digital tools. 'Making' comprises artistic creation, engineering and computing. Equipment and components vary and can reach from 3D printing to Lego blocks, from woodworking tools to recycled cardboard, scissors and glue. Students literally grasp new concepts and skills in hands-on activities. As highlighted in the Horizon Report, makerspaces have become a prominent fixture in formal learning settings of higher education and k-12 as well as in informal learning spaces of museums and libraries. What makes a makerspace? Merely offering equipment does not constitute an engaging, collaborative learning environment. Sandra Schoen is an expert on the Maker movement, both as a researcher and an educational activist. In the interview she shares insights from makerspace workshops with children and a making MOOC for educators. Sandra, you are a seasoned DIY, upcycle and making specialist. When did you get involved in the maker movement? Do you remember what first drew your attention? To be honest:
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Learning through Play: The Augmented Reality Sandbox

“Augmented reality can also help students learn by placing course content in rich contextual settings that more closely mirror real-world situations in which new knowledge can be applied” (Horizon Report, 2016). Augmented reality (AR) offers a new way of seeing and interacting with the learner's natural environment. Augmented reality describes the addition of a computer assisted contextual layer of information to the physical world, thereby creating an enhanced experience. One common application is the visualization of large datasets. Instead of exploring and manipulating the data via a computer interface, learners can control and interact in a real space, by moving material with their finger, hand, arm, or body. Augmented reality used to require specialized equipment, none of which was widely accessible or easily portable. Today’s applications and mobile devices allow digital information to be overlaid anywhere, anytime, at low cost. This opens the door for creative educational scenarios. While most augmented reality applications target older students and adult learners, informal learning spaces such as museums have broadened the audience to various age groups, including younger children, even in the pre-K
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Remembering Erik Duval

After a long battle with lymphoma, Erik Duval passed away this month. Those who knew him online, offline, peripherally or closely connected, will remember a genuinely kind person, an inquisitive mind and an open spirit. His personality, his research and his teaching have left pearls in the educational technology community that we will treasure and carry into the future. Erik Duval was a professor at the computer science department of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He was involved with AACE and ED-MEDIA since the very start of the conference series and served as Chair of the Steering Committee, a presenter, keynote and invited speaker. He authored numerous papers in AACE publications and edited several special issues of AACE journals. In 2005, AACE recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Erik Duval with an AACE Fellowship Award. Erik was excited about the potential of Web 2.0 and social networks to create personal learning environments: “In the same way that all snowflakes in a snowstorm are unique, each user has her specific characteristics, restrictions and interests” (Duval, 2008). In the area of the open educational resources,
Posted in AACE, EdITLib Digital Library

EdITLib Is Changing Its Name to LearnTechLib — The Learning & Technology Library

EdITLib, the digital library sponsored by AACE, is changing its name and its domain. The new website,, will provide the identical content with a new name to reflect changes in the field of learning, education & technology: To reflect the change to a broader recognition of the intersection between learning and technology, EdITLib, the Education and Information Technology Library, is being renamed to LearnTechLib, The Learning & Technology Library. The new domain for the LearnTechLib website is It is our hope that this name change will encourage and inspire researchers, teachers, and students to explore new and effective learning methods and technologies inside and outside the classroom. The domain change will not affect current or future subscribers and links pointing to will continue to work indefinitely. For further information, please email
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Review of the Horizon Report 2016 Higher Ed Edition

Horizon Report 2015 and 2016 Editions at a Glance: Similarities and Differences The New Media Consortium (NMC) recently unveiled the latest Horizon Report 2016 Higher Ed Edition.  A copy is posted here in the LearnTechLib Digital Library along with copies of previous Horizon reports. Horizon 2016 In A Nutshell Each year, a group of over 50 international experts prepares the report following a modified Delphi approach. 2016 expert panelists come from the US, Canada, Columbia, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Germany, Denmark and UK. Their collaborative online workspace is available for review as the Horizon Report Wiki. The 2016 Horizon report identifies 18 topics likely to impact planning and decision-making in the educational technology sector: Six key trends accelerating technology adoption, six significant challenges for technology adoption, and six important technological developments. Readers of the 2015 edition will recognize familiar themes – 11 out of the 18 topics were presented in the same or similar form in the previous year. In other words, this year’s issue is comprised to 60% of last year’s predictions, which creates a strong sense of déjà vu that is not usually expected in a trend
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Innovating Pedagogy: Which Trends Will Influence Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning Environments?

In November 2015, the Open University released the latest edition of its 'Innovating Pedagogy’ report, the fourth rendition of an annual educational technology and teaching techniques forecast. While the timelines and publishing interval may remind you of the Horizon Report, the methodology for gathering the trends is different. The NMC Horizon Team uses a modified Delphi survey approach with a panel of experts, the 'Innovating Pedagogy' report is authored by a team of OU researchers. The 2015 edition was compiled in collaboration with SRI International. As in previous years, the report discusses ten innovations that are on the brink of having a profound influence on education.
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On the same page: AACE 2015 Facebook Insights

“The nature and popularity of Facebook itself challenges the idea of what an educational application should look like. Facebook puts the social community first, with content—including, but not limited to, educational content—being the medium of exchange between them.” Stephen Downes, 2007 AACE’s Facebook page is a public space that serves as a marketplace for ideas, starting point for discussions and entryway for inquiries. We use Facebook insights data to understand how people are engaging with AACE: AACE’s Facebook page has over 4,800 fans. During 2015, AACE gained more than 300 new followers. With over 100 messages, this was by far the busiest year for AACE on Facebook. Between 300 and 9,000 people are reached per week.
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AACE Facebook Top 20 Quotes 2015

Blogger Post Reach Impressions Doug Belshaw 'Digital literacies are plural, context-dependent, and should be co-created'. Read 2360 3779 Tony Bates Free e-book 'Teaching in the Digital Age' is now available as HTML, PDF, MOBI and EPUB. Read 1760 19050 AACE Blog Grow your Network - Top 20 in Educational Technology to Connect with through Social Media Read 1224 14955 Tony Bates 10 Key Takeaways About Differences Between Classroom, Blended, Online and Open Learning. Read 942 7096 AACE Blog Interview with best paper award winner Eddie Goose from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Read 949 4011 Jane Hart Don't miss Jane Hart's 2015 list of Top 100 Tools for Learning. Read 1730 3114 Tony Bates 11 Takeaways on Quality Teaching workload for both students and instructor. Read 621 4015 Tony Bates 'I have lots of empirical evidence on the pedagogical influences of audio, video and computing, but almost nothing on text...' Read 653 3881 Martin Weller 'The digital natives myth has long been debunked, but what we have are often pseudo-digital native explanations'. Read 1487 2614 Audrey Watters 'Sesame Street
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What A Little Bird Told Me: AACE on Twitter

Since last fall, AACE has been working on implementing a comprehensive social media strategy that involves regular postings on the AACE blog, Facebook and Twitter channels. We want to leverage social media to foster communication among the AACE conference attendees, authors, presenters, special interest groups, and organizing committees. The goal is to create engagement that seamlessly reaches the community not only through conference announcements, but also through news, reflections, conversations, debates, trends and reports. We are now starting to see first results of this effort.
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Digital Literacy: An Interview with Doug Belshaw

Twenty-first century life is fueled by information technology facilitating our actions and communication. Recognizing technology's usefulness as well as its limitations, technical skills related to varied forms of information technology use have become necessary competencies for citizenry, success in reaching educational goals and participation in the workforce. We all need to be digital literate – but are we clear what this means?
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