Educational Technology/OU Project

November an exciting month..


What an exciting month it was this year. It already is a month of celebrations for us at home, with my wive’s and my birthday but that is not what I want to talk about. A birthday is not (yet) an achievement. What I want to tell you about is the honor we had as Executive Committee of E-learn (the World Conference on E-learning) to hand out an AACE fellow award to our good friend and wonderful colleague Curt Bonk for his achievements in the field of Educational Technology. See here: and

Secondly I’m so proud on PhD Student Harry Stokhof. His work won the 2016 Best Research & Practice Project Award during the EAPRIL conference. See here: and in Dutch. This is the Youtube video.

Congratulations!! It is a pleasure to work (and celebrate) with both of them.


Educational Technology/FernUni Project

Social Software

Schermafbeelding 2015-07-27 om 09.40.25

Time flies if you’re having fun. After three years, our social software project comes to an end. We have done so many new innovative things, learned so much, and had so much fun. We started with the development of our universities’ first Mooc’s. One MOOC about ‘life in the information society’ and one MOOC about ‘doing scientific research’. We learned that MOOC’s are here to stay. They can be an extra (costly) option for universities to share their knowledge with the world. No more, no less.

We organized a so-called Wikiade, in a kind of Olympic approach all students could share their new knowledge for the semester with other students. The more students shared, the better it was for the schools. We had individual prizes for individuals, a university and a school ranking. In this playful setup much information was shared. We saw that a smaller core group of students enjoyed writing thousands of articles for a very large group of lurkers. However it was a great idea to start filling the universities Wiki as the platform for interdisciplinary exchange.

We developed three mobile apps, the last will be introduced soon. It is called ‘Pfadlerner’, an app to develop and play educational routes (geocaching for knowledge). Android works fine, our IOS app will be out shortly. For more information about all these topics look here. It is in German, all scientific data will be published in English the forthcoming months.

Finally we organized a barcamp…a ‘Fernunicamp’. An interesting concept that has been around for ten years, but is now booming. People with the same interests meet and share their thoughts in a quite unstructured format during the weekend. They together decide how the program looks like and they schedule their own sessions, workshops etc. Everybody knows upfront that he/she has to offer something. If there is enough interest the session then is scheduled. People from outside can also participate via social software. Worked very well. See also our website


Educational Technology

Do teachers see the real potential of ICT?

According to Dutch research they do not see that really. In interviews teachers stick to the general advantages that are well known and common sense. They do not make use of the full potential of ICT. It is very much just a supporting tool for classroom teaching.

I think we can not blame them too much for that. They simply do not know how to use ICT tools in an optimal way.

The first responsibly to improve these disappointing results lies with the educational researchers and the schools for teacher education. Tell teachers how to use ICT in school, demonstrate how to do it and make it a priority in the curriculum. When I talk to teachers I’m frequently asked for ‘recipes’ to implement and use for example ‘social software’ tools. I try to ‘write’ these recipes in the form of didactical patterns. Simple and straightforward steps that show ‘how to do it’.

A second responsibly lies with the teachers themselves…open up, and try new things in your practice. Society is changing, your students did already change. They are often bored to dead and sick of traditional (higher) education.

Van po tot hbo zetten leraren ict op een zelfde manier in: voor klassikale instructie en om leerlingen en studenten zelfstandig te laten leren’.

Source: Leraren benutten specifieke mogelijkheden ict nauwelijks – NRO

Schermafbeelding 2016-05-27 om 12.53.15

Report in Dutch