Author Archives: Kairit Tammets

ICWL2014 and PLE2014 in Tallinn

We host in this summer two scientific conferences in the Tallinn University, Centre for Educational Technology:

Centre for Educational Technology hosts this summer two international conferences at the Tallinn University:

The PLE conference 2014

16.-18.- July in Tallinn.

The Personal Learning Environment Conference is an international scientific conference taking place annually, each time in a different city. Following the highly successful events in Barcelona in Spain 2010, in Southampton, UK in 2011,  the parallel events in 2012 in Aveiro, Portugal and Melbourne, Australia, the parallel events in 2013 in Berlin, Germany and Melbourne, Australia, the 5th International PLE Conference 2014 will be held in Tallinn, Estonia together with a parallel event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The PLE Conference intends to create a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experiences and research around the development and implementation of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) – including the design of environments and the sociological and educational issues that they raise.

Call for papers is out.

The 13th International Conference on Web-based Learning – ICWL2014

13.-16. August 2014 in Tallinn

ICWL is an annual international conference on web-based learning organised by Hong Kong Web Society. The first ICWL was held in Hong Kong in 2002. Since then, it has been held in Australia (2003), China (2004), Hong Kong (2005), Malaysia (2006), United Kingdom (2007), China (2008), Germany (2009), China (2010), Hong Kong (2011), Romania (2012) and Taiwan (2013).

ICWL 2014 will be the 13th ICWL conference and will be held in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference program will feature keynote addresses, workshops, panels, posters, demos and industry track, in addition to presentations of refereed papers that have been selected by the international program committee.

Call for papers is out.

You are all invited to Tallinn!

My PhD dissertation is defended

In the second half of the August I defended my PhD dissertation “Learning and Knowledge Building for Teachers’ Professional Development in an Extended Professional Community”. My thesis can be found here. Thesis was supervised by Dr. Kai Pata from Tallinn University. Dr. Äli Leijen from Tartu University and Dr. Merja Bauters from Aalto University were my opponents and Dr. Anoush Margaryan from Glasgow Caledonian University was pre-reviewer. Thank you for all.

My thesis proposes learning and knowledge building practices for teachers in a socio-technical system. Theoretically I relied on the concepts of self-directed learning and organizational learning. I also used the Nonaka’s and Takeuchi’s knowledge conversion SECI model for manipulating and managing the practices in individual and organizational level. The theoretical foundations of socio-technical systems and e-portfolio was second building block of the theoretical part. Thirdly the implementation aspects of the knowledge development tools in organization were relied on. Design-based research that involved the stakeholders from schools, universities and teachers’ association was the methodological grounding of my thesis.

As a result I provide the gaps in current teachers professional development in terms of self-directed learning and collaborative knowledge building in the community. Next I propose the technical scenarios that can be followed when implementing such practices for teacher education. Thirdly the implementation model for the extended professional community is proposed and finally the validated learning and knowledge practices are proposed with the identified scaffolding aspects.

In general I had quite quick process of PhD studies, only four years. I think I had several enablers that supported me. Firstly the project IntelLEO, which gave me the context, timeline, theoretical support, but also the freedom to focus on my own research. Secondly my dear supervisor who was by my side for all those years and provided me the support that can’t be expressed. Thirdly my kids. If I had not been on my maturity leave, but worked with full position, this would have been much longer process. Doing my research while kids had napping time was much more comfortable way for finishing PhD.

After two weeks I am almost able to say that my defense was quite nice. There are some things that still bother me, but I have to live with it now. I did not manage to answer all the questions and I was too emotional during my last words, but what can I do – that’s me.

Anyway – done! I am open to new challenges!

Selle kevade magistritööd

Homme esitavad viis minu magistranti oma magistritööd kaitsmisele. Ma pole väga kogenud juhendaja, mul on siiani olnud vaid üks magistant, kuid läbi tiheda koostöö need viis tööd ka valmis said:

1. Triinu Pääsik – tema viis läbi tegevusuuringu, mille raames disainis, rakendas ja evalveeris veebipõhiste aktiivõppe rakendamise stsenaariumeid. Tema töö tulenes vajadusest toetada õpetajaid rakendama aktiivõppe meetodeid veebipõhiselt, kuna tänased õpilased (tema uurimuses 5.klass) on arvutikasutajad, küll aga kasutavad nad arvutit peamiselt meelelahutuseks ning vajavad tuge, et õppe eesmärkidel arvutit kasutada. Tulemuseks olid valideeritud ainetepõhised stsenaariumid, et julgustada teisi aineõpetajaid veebipõhiselt aktiivõppe meetodeid kasutama;

2. Siret Lahemaa – Siret viis läbi juhtumiuuringu uurides käsitööõpetajate virtuaalset praktikakogukonda. Tema töö probleemiks on see, et kuigi õpetajate virtuaalseid kogukondi justkui on ja tehnoloogia areng soodustab nende teket, on siiski suureks probleemiks kogukondade aktiivsus ja jätkusuutlikkus. Uurides käsitööõpetajate kogukonda kui juhtumit, viis ta läbi küsimustiku ja intervjuud, et leida, kuidas õpetajad tajuvad virtuaalse praktikakogukonna mõju oma professionaalsusele ja millised on nende ootused kogukonnale. Tulemuseks proovis Siret välja pakkuda võimalused käsitööõpetajate virtuaalse praktikakogukonna näitel, kuidas tagada kogukonna suutlikkus;

3. Siret Piir – Siret pakkus osalusdisaini põhimõtteid järgides e-portfoolio funktsionaalsused eDidaktikumi keskkonnale. Sireti töö algas juba varem, mil eDidaktikumi keskkond ei olnud veel arendusplaanides, kuid me lõpuks leidsime tema tööle praktilise väljundi eDidaktikumi näol. Sireti töö tulenes probleemist, et täna ei ole Eesti õpetajal (või õpetajakoolituse tudengil) väga häid võimalusi oma professionaalse arengu portfoolio loomiseks, mis toetaks nii pädevusehaldust, erinevate vaadete loomist, kogukonna toetust kui ka refleksiooni toetavaid elemente. Siret analüüsis põhjalikult olemasolevaid e-portfoolioid, viis läbi osalusdisaini raames intervjuud kahes etapis – kõigepealt selgitas välja vajadused ja ootused e-portfoolio suhtes ja seejärel evalveeris enda poolt välja pakutud e-portfoolio funktsionaalsuseid. Tema töö andis praktilise väärtuse eDidaktikumi arendajatele esimese prototüübi kujul, millest nüüd edasi minna;

4. Nele Sarrapik – Nele töötas tegevusuuringu raames oma organisatsiooni jaoks välja e-kursuse, rakendas seda ja viis sisse evalveerimise käigus muudatused. Tema töö kerkis praktilisest vajadusest enda organisatsiooni jaoks välja töötada e-kursuse näidis, mis hõlmaks endas erinevat tüüpi funktsionaalsuste kasutamist nende õpikeskkonnas Ilias, mitmekesiste õpiülesannete ja -meetodite kasutamist. Praegu on küll organisatsioonis kõik võimalused olemas e-õppe rakendamiseks, aga instruktoritel puuduvad vajalikud oskused ja Nele töö tulemusel välja pakutud e-kursuse disaini järgimine on üks võimalus, kuidas toetada instruktoreid oma e-kursuseid ümber disainida.

5. Veroonika Tuul – Veroonika kaardistas oma töös täiskasvanute koolitajate haridustehnoloogilisi pädevusi. Organisatsioonid ootavad üha enam, et täiendkoolitus liiguks e-õppe rakendamise suunas, samas aga pole teada, milline on täiskasvanudkoolitajate haridustehnoloogiliste pädevuste tase e-õppe ettevalmistamiseks, rakendamiseks ja hindamiseks. Kasutades kombineeritud meetodit, viis Veroonika läbi küsimustiku ja intervjuud, et analüüsida koolitajate enesehinnangut oma haridustehnoloogilistele pädevustele. Tulemuseks tõi välja Veroonika täiskasvanute koolitajate haridustehnoloogiliste pädevuste enesehinnangud ja pakkus Veroonika välja koolituskava täiskasvanute koolitajatele nende haridustehnoloogiliste pädevuste arendamiseks.

Kõik tööd on erinäoga, kõik magistrandid on omamoodi. On olnud keerulisemaid hetki, aga üldiselt ei ole mul kellelegi neist midagi ette heita. Viimased umbes 1,5 kuud on olnud meil kõigil karm ja tihe koostöö. Ma ei saa öelda neist kellegi kohta, et huvi oleks olnud väike ja ma pidin kedagi tagant surkima. Kui ma aus olen, siis ma isegi lootsin kevade alguses, et keegi viiest siiski kukub välja, et viiega lõpuni minna on karm. Samas viimasel nädalal, mil tööd oli tehtud palju, ei oleks ma lubanud enam kellelgi loobuda ja õnneks keegi ei soovinud ka.

Ma saan alles nüüd aru paljudest asjadest olles ise nii juhendaja rollis kui juhendatava rollis (kuna doktorantuur on põneval lõpusirgel). Ma saan aru, et:

a) milline ajaraiskamine on olnud saata oma juhendajale poolikud töid stiilis a la vaata nüüd, ma seal metoodikas kirjutasin seda täpsemaks. Mulle juhendajana ei meeldinud neid kirju saada, ma tahtsin tervikuid lugeda, ma käisin koguaeg uurimisküsimusi jms üle lugemas, mulle ei meeldinud lugeda mingeid lõike (või vaid ühte osa tööst, nt teooria);

b) ma olen selline juhendaja nagu on minu juhendaja, ma olen selle stiili täiesti ülevõtnud. Ma hoolin ja hoian. Ma loengi laupäeva hilja õhtul kahte magistritööd. Ma parandan kirjavigu. Me pendeldame tööga edasi-tagasi mitmeid korda nädalas. Ma annan peaaegu kohe tagasisidet. Ma olen vahel järsk (ja nüüd ma saan aru, miks minu juhendaja minuga vahel järsk oli), aga üldine hoiak on soe. Nii on käitunud minuga minu juhendaja. Ja nii hakkasin käituma mina. See on küll väsitav endale, aga ma ei kujuta enam teisiti ette, kui ma olen juba selle rolli endale võtnud.

Ma väga loodan, et neil töödel läheb kenasti. Tõesti loodan. Sest tegelikult ma tean, et ma olen siiski kogenematu juhendaja ja ikka pelgan, et kuigi ma tegin kõik, mis ma jaksasin, oskasin ja jõudsin – kas sellest piisas?

Analyzing the online forum for constructors

Last few months I have been thoroughly reading the Estonian online forum for constructors. There socialize experts, professionals, non-professionals and amateurs with the aim to seek help about construction-related questions.

I have several research questions and these are not final, they tend to change over time. But at the moment I can formalize them as follows:

  • What type of problems can be identified in the constructors’ online forum?
  • What type of scaffold can be identified in the constructors’ online forum?
  • Which prinicples of Communities of Practice are similar to the constructors’ online forum? In what terms the forum can be treated as CoP?

Problem types in constructors’ online forum

I analyzed the forum topics based on Jonassen’s problem types. His categorization is just the first attempt to study if it suits, if something is missing or if something is not relevant. It was quite difficult to find an illustrative example to each problem type and it might be that some examples that I bring here are too artificial. Anyway, below is a figure where problem types are defined and illustrative examples added. Very often I had to add the question (Q) and answer (A) both, because question itself was not certain question type and giving the answer to it gave possibility to categorize it somehow. And in some cases the answer changed the type of the problem.

problemtypes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the explanations for each category and example.

a) Logical – The question itself is not “logical” problem type, but the answer makes the problem type to logical one – there is only and logical way for putting fiberboards next to each other and that is why they should be finished on top of the beams. (Similar to the puzzles, when there is only one logical way to put one puzzle piece next to another);

b) Algorithmic – The question itself does not include problem that could be solved only with using some algorithm. Answer to the problem is given in the format of algorithm, which means that the user who asked the question can find the possible solution by performing the algorithm;

c) Design problems – The question itself is design-question, the one is planning and designing the electric system and don’t know what to take into consideration when planning the power points. In design problems, the answer can’t be direct solution, because every household is specific and unique and other people don’t know their needs. Therefore the answer is not therefore specific solution, but just and idea to remember in design process;

d) Decision-making – Decision-making problem type is about weighing different options in the problematic situation. In the current example, the one wants to renovate floor without taking the old floor off, which is not accepted situation by the other constructors and they suggest still to take the floor off (which is better solution), but if the one does not want to do it, then there is another possibility as well (but not so good one);

e) Trouble-shooting – the most common problem type in the construction field. In one is asking the question about specific problem without any need to diagnose the causes etc. Also the answer is quite concrete and usually does not focus on in-depth analysis of the causes of the problem, in the current example it is just pointed that probably the work is just a scrap;

f) Dilemmas with multiple answers at almost the same level of correctness – that problem type was difficult to identify in the construction field mainly because of the characteristic that said: unpredictable because there is no solution that will ever be acceptable to a significant portion of the people affected by the problem. As it was difficult to find the problem, which solution will be ever be acceptable to a many people, the problem was chosen, which solution are not acceptable to the one. In the current example the question where the oven is broken is not very dilemma-related, but answer that gives few options, provide dilemmas – thorough repair takes a lot of effort, superficial repair is not enough and getting the new one is risky (if the systems will match);

g) Case analysis – Case analysis are more in common in court or health practices and such problems assume that there are some previous solutions (cases) that next one can rely on. Here the example is chosen about wall of slates. In general such walls are not used in living quarters and making them warmer is “hopeless case” by the constructors. In the current case the question itself is not case, but the answer that refers to one specific method that was once used successfully, is case;

h) Diagnosis-solution problems – Compared with the problem type “troubleshooting”, this type is more focused on diagnosing the problems and then offering the solutions. In the current example the problem itself is simple and does not focus on diagnosing process – chimney is grimy and the one worries what might be the reason and is the situation dangerous. The answers provide different options what might be the reasons (diagnosis) and how to solve it (solutions).

i) Rule-using – In the current example the one is asking the question about formalities that are related with the construction and hints about the rules as well. The answer fulfills the problem type by adding that the one should prepare the project and then go to the local government with the project (which is the rule in Estonia).

j) Strategy – In the example of “Dilemma” the focus was on two equally bad options, but in the current example of the type “Strategy” the one has two possibilities how to build an house and he just don’t know what would be good idea in terms of time and money. What strategy to use, the one asks, to buy totally ready house and move, which is more expensive, or to buy empty house box and employ constructors, which is more risky.

k) Case – The most difficult problem-type in the construction case. The current example is about solar panels and the one doesn’t know which one to take. The answer hints that the powerful panel might be more suitable.

Analyzing community aspects in the online forum of construction

First I looked at the networked scaffolding and looked for examples were following networked scaffolding could be identified

a) How does the one who asked for the help responses to it;

b) Different types of answers for achieving the shared comprehension;

c) In a which way another expert has been suggested by the community member?

d) Are there any suggestions made based on earlier help-giving patterns in forum?

e) How do they define their membership, belonging to the community?

f) How do they define their own community

Below is the figure with the examples found from forum. It was the most difficult to find the example how do they define their membership, roles and things in the community? The example may not be the best, but it illustrates how one member (novice) is judged by another one (experienced member).

networked_scaff

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly I read the Kai’s post about classifying principles for CoPs. Based on her theoretical insights I selected those principles that seemed most appropriate to the settings of the online forum of constructors. I made a figure above where those theory-driven principles are written and in italics I started adding the evidences or examples from forum. This is just an idea and I am not sure where does it bring me, but that is the task I was planning for myself.

CoP

 

 

 

 

 

So, those three approaches to the forum are the activities that I have been doing lately and I hope that something interesting comes up here.

About e-portfolios again

As mentioned for several times, e-portfolio is one of my research interests. I have taught implementing e-portfolio for supporting professional development for in-service teachers and tried to implement e-portfolio in the context of pre-service school practice. The latter one has been more difficult as it presumes more organizational support from the lecturers, practice units, schools where the practice takes place and so on. Now our center started with the new project (eP in human resources), funded by the Era-Net and the project is mainly my responsibility with my colleagues Mart and Kai and that is why I started to think about eP more thoroughly again.

Based on those experiments and trials, I have faced several issues:
1. My main concern is related with the fact that development of eP seems to remain as one time event and eP comes like a container. We teach how to develop own eP, but so few teachers continue updating it and their developed eP becomes like their static web-page. eP should be dynamic and change over time in accordance with the personal/professional development.
2. I don’t believe that eP is merely the collection of digital artefacts. On one hand it should reflect the learning journey of the owner of the eP. On the other hand this journey should be related with those digital artefacts. And thirdly, the eP should contain the reflection which is important part of the artefacts and gained experiences and practice
3. Reflection. How to support the owner of the eP to reflect? It is not even important if they reflect in their learning management systems, personal learning environment, e-portfolios or other type of systems, they don’t tend to do it anyway. But it should be part of the learning process. In eP it is important, because the reflection provides meaningfulness to the content and supports keeping the eP dynamically updated. In the sense of the community, which is also considered as important aspect of ePs, personally I believe that reflection is the key element, which is interesting for the community members. Reflections are more personal and I have learnt from the reflections more compared with the digital artefacts or public profile
4. The relation between the personal learning environment and eP. Few times I ago I wrote about it and after that I have faced the same issue in our unit for several times. Namely, our PLE experts do not feel that eP is the same as PLE. Few times ago together with my colleague we wrote the book chapter how the eP can be considered as PLE and I was not sure if it was a correctly said or not. After our last review, I updated it as “E-portfolio in Personal Learning Environment”, because I don’t believe myself either that eP and PLE are the same in their nature. As mentioned before, I liked the parallel that Attwell (2007) have drawned, he sees the e-portfolio as the DNA of the PLE which may indicate that if PLE is a just an a concept or selection of different open tools and systems, then the eP is a technological solution that carries the data of the PLE.

Recently I bought the book “Handbook of Research on ePortfolios”, editors Jafari & Kaufman. In general I am aware that the book was launched in 2006 and especially technology has developed a lot since then. Probably that is the reason why the technologies in this books were quite institutionalized and the open solutions were mentioned less seldom. But I assumed that lessons learnt and pedagogical approaches are still relevant and browsed it through quite thoroughly. I picked some of the ideas:

– Technology should not be over-emphasized. When educators try to implement e-portfolio in K12, higher education or any other type of formal education, they tend to focus too much on technology. Participants’ training focuses mainly on technological aspects and different functionalities that can be used. Several studies in this book indicated that users of the eP miss the point why is the eP useful for them, why do they develop it and to whom is the eP adressed? It leads us to another question that was asked – why is the eP used, does the using of eP really solves some problems? Also what are the users learning about themselves professionally and personally by using eP, is it clear for all the involved participants? Therefore it is suggested to use goal-settings (also expected results) formulation in the eP, that may help users to become more aware why are they developing their eP-s and what should be achieved as a result;
– Community. Although ePs are considered as professional development/learning tools, it is believed that ePs become more meaningful in the context of the community. Students should be encouraged more into peer assessment and collaboration instead of submitting their eP just to an instructor or employer.
– Reflection has been considered important element in eP
– Institutionalized e-portfolios. The book was almost of full examples how students in higher education or K12 use some eP solution provided by their educational institution. It can be understood that different users (pre-service studies, K12, medical students) have different needs and therefore each institution develops the tool that seems most relevant for them. But in general I believe that students should have the possibility to select their own tools based their preferences.

Different types of communities

During my PhD studies, I have become a bit of confused about handling different types of communities in the right context. Different types of communities, that have confused me, are for instance community of practice (CoP), professional community, learning community, professional learning community, knowledge-building communityvirtual/online community. Also I read about the concepts like knowledge community and learning organization, which were relevant for my own research. Sometimes it seemed that many of the concepts are overlapping and sometimes some of the concepts were used too loosely (e.g. any kind of community is CoP, although it has its specific features).

First of all the concept of Community of the Practice. Wenger and Lave has defined it as group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. It is important that people share the interest, members are engaged in joint activities and the members are practitioners who develop a shared repertoire of resources. How does it different from the professional learning community, handled in my thesis? Wenger has explained that in the context of professional learning community, for instance teachers come together for doing professional development in peer-to-peer learning context. Community of Practice (CoP), according to Wenger, is more broad concept. Some of the CoPs are not professionally oriented (for example people who work together for sustaining high school in country yard). CoP is a way of looking at a group, as a learning system and it could be applied to a family, hobby (they might even consider themselves as the CoP) and sometimes the professionalism is not key at all. In the context of professional learning community, we can talk about experts and learners, which is not relevant in the CoPs. And how does it different from the knowledge-building communities, proposed by Scardamalia & Bereiter, which are also relevant in my thesis? The key differences can be as follows, as proposed Hoadley (2012):

  • knowledge-building community is intentional, that is the goal of the community is explicitly on learning and knowledge building;
  • Source and the nature of the authenticity. It is presumed in both cases that a learner who is successful will be increasingly identified with the community’s practice as something they do and that defines their own lives. A knowledge-building community  may be investigating questions that derive from an individual’s curiosity or from initial teacher’s initial agenda-setting. A CoP that occurs naturally will not typically have a learning goal; these will emerge depending on the evolution of the community’s function and role within society. Hoadley and Kilner (2005) claim that once the knowledge-building community is up and running, it does not constitute a CoP, one in which the core practice is an inquiry one;

In the context of my thesis, technology plays an important role and the knowledge of the community should be stored and accumulated with the purpose of more effective sharing and learning. Technology is the mediator that supports collaboration and sharing. Kirschner & Lai (2007) discussed the nature of the CoP in the online settings. They marked that Web 2.0 approach supports more online CoP, because Web 2.0 tools sustain the needs for communication, socialization, networking and collaboration which is important for the CoPs. But in general they found that online CoP is a complex issue, because members don’t respect the advice from the members they don’t know (in the online settings it is possible) and they do not share their practice online (personal insecurities). Such implications are in common for different types of online communities, I think. Trust and motivation for sharing the knowledge have been under the investigation by the researchers for long a time. Hoadley (2012) proposed four techniques how people support CoPs with the technologies:

  • Linking people with others who have similar practices;
  • Providing some short of shared repository of information resources. While a simplistic view of knowledge might think that this repository is the knowledge of the community, the CoP sees such repositories as simply information that is used by the community in its practices (where the knowledge truly resides);
  • Providing tool for discussing with others. This is perhaps the most common use for technology in CoP: supporting conversation. Examples may range from a bulletin board used globally by members of a support group for a rare disease, to comment blog-posts in a password-protected blog for members of a professional association, online videoconferencing tool, …;
  • Providing awareness in a community of the information context of various resources. For example, an online bookstore might provide automated recommendations that would help a member of community uncover what sorts of books are typically read by the same people.

I was wondering if the technique “discussion” may include the reflection what I emphasize in my research. I kind of separate the reflection which personal and internal learning process and which includes learning from peers and their resources, but still it is internalized and discussion, which is rather collaborative and social process.

I liked the division of the online communities, proposed by Rice & Polin (2004). They describe 3 different (sometimes overlapping) types of learning communities to provide a common language for understanding the different forms of social organizations:
task based online communities – aims to produce a product or outcome and their members know each other. These are generally temporary groups whose members try to accomplish well-specified tasks. A small group’s interaction occurs among members of the group.
practice based online communities – voluntary participation. There is a shared activity among members of the community to produce knowledge. Tacit knowledge is shared among members.
knowledge based online communities – aim of this type of learning communities is to compose knowledge based on a specific area. Members of it may or may not know each other personally. There is a long-term commitment to construct knowledge base.

In my thesis, in the teacher training context, I use the concept – extended professional learning community (of educators). Professional learning community, defined by Stoll & Louis (2007) is an inclusive group of people, motivated by a shared learning vision, who support and work with each other, finding ways, inside and outside their immediate community, to enquire on their practice and together learn new and better approaches that will enhance all pupils’ learning. It is extended community, which means that the community members are from different organization (schools, universities, ministry). As it is (partially) online community, then based on Rice & Polin (2004) division, the concept of extended professional community is the combination of knowledge based learning community and practice based learning community that composes knowledge based on a specific area, includes shared activity among members of the community to produce knowledge, members of it may or may not know each other personally and belonging to the community is based on voluntary participation. It is important that learning is embedded in the community.

As I said, I am confused about the using different types of communities in the right context. Even more I am confused and also interested in, is the sustainability of the (learning) community. I’ve experienced how the communities are initiated, but I have also experienced that communities become passive. How the processes in the communities should be organized for keeping the community sustained? How to keep the participants motivated in the community?

IFIP-OST’12 conference

TLU hosts a conference this week: IFIP-OST’12: Open and Social Technologies for Networked Learning. I had a chance to participate there for one day and I had quite good impression about it, the atmosphere was like a little warm discussion meeting of old acquaintances and new fellows.

Mainly I was interested in the presentation of the keynote – Stefanie Lindstaedt. In the final phases of my PhD research project I read about the EU funded Mirror project that focuses on reflective learning in the workplace. As my own thesis is about reflective practice in teachers’ professional development, then the contributions of the project were really helpful for me. Stefanie’s presentation did not disappoint me and in several times I wanted to applause to her. Thank god am I shy enough as such emotions are not in common in the conferences. Unfortunately I was also too shy to thank her for the inspiring presentation. Anyway, when she talked about the Mirror project (also about the projects APOSDLE and Mature), I was wondering why such project is there and I am here, the Mirror is something I would like to do.

Two other sessions, one about social learning networks, analytics and recommendations and other about workplace learning seemed also relevant to me. Riina Vuorikari talked about how they analyzed the large-scale network of teachers with the social network analysis, which was interesting, because I also have focused on teachers’ network and SNA have been so far too difficult to me. Workplace learning is relevant as well, because the settings of my research area is teachers’ workplace learning.

During the final presentation I started to thinking that the today’s presentation are in a way similar. Also our paper with the professor Peeter Normak (will be presented in the Thursday) and even my PhD research project are similar in the same way. What I mean is that in all those studies some pedagogical innovation with the support of social media (also intelligent systems and so on) have been developed and implemented. The implementation process have been mainly analyzed with the content analysis method (interviews, written documents,…) and based on those results the faced challenges have been identified. In general most of the studies that are conducted in the different settings (formal higher education, workplace learning, teachers’ development and so on) face the same kind of challenges that can be categorized as personal attitudes, motivation, skills, commitment, technological systems and their problems. I just started to wondering that the context changed with the new presenter (or forthcoming presenter or our own studies so far), but the aim, process and results are kind of similar. Sometimes the used technologies are even the same (weblogs, wikis, forums, etc). And also the scaffolding elements tend to be same like (more collaboration, more authentic assignments, more reflection). Despite of that idea that occurred during the conference it is still interesting to see what others are doing and how they are doing it, especially when the conference is coming to us and I don’t have to travel myself.