Virtual Classroom augmentation

I have been thinking and researching about how to enhance traditional virtual classroom platforms. The obvious improvements over the years have been in standardized tools such as whiteboarding and application sharing, or in terms of modalities such as quizzes, surveys and breakout rooms, or in being able to accommodate audio, video and chat streams. Not... Continue Reading →

Linked Data

Tim Berners-Lee's passionate exposition on Ted Talks on linked data starts with his expression of frustration with silos of content and proprietary nature of formats 20 years back when he first started working on the idea of creating a virtual repository of documents accessible anywhere. He thinks that this time around linked data (see semantic... Continue Reading →

Blurring the lines: Innovations

You just have to watch this video of the innovation that MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces group created. Like all innovations that blur the lines between two or more ways of experiencing or doing things, this innovation is breathtaking. In this innovation, Pranav Mistry and his team blur the lines - the projection target is not... Continue Reading →

Slightly Morbid

I came across this article which I found morbidly fascinating and extremely relevant. Somewhat similar to spectral networks discussed by Lisa Lane in CCK08, the article deals with an online presence left orphaned when the real life "basis" ends. One obvious aspect, made more complex by social networking, is that your user names and passwords... Continue Reading →

Connectivist Metrics

I thought I would take a stab at defining what connectivist metrics could include. Having read in Stephen's post, Connectivist Dynamics in Communities, that connectivist networks produce connective knowledge and that four elements  (autonomy, diversity, open-ness and interactivity & connectedness) distinguish a knowledge-generating network from a mere set of connected elements, I thought it would make sense to... Continue Reading →

2009 Predictions

It's the new year and time to review some of the predictions I had made for 2008. PLEs will be shareable - tools shall arrive on the web that shall allow entire learning experiences to be sliced and shared between users. This shall be followed by ratings on which PLE slices are great. Any learner... Continue Reading →

Kinesthetics in Virtual Worlds

In a discussion yesterday, we explored the limitations of current technology in terms of kinesthetic immersion in virtual worlds. While Virtual Reality has a few answers in terms of mirroring and rendering visualization of 3D human motion, these systems are hard to implement in practice. For example, a user exploring a virtual world may need... Continue Reading →

Media Mashups

Over the past year, we have seen a variety of very innovative approaches in terms of mashing up different forms of media. That I think would be one of the major evolutions in 2008. By media mash-ups, I mean the combination of one form of media with another e.g. picture with voice. In media, I... Continue Reading →

CCK08 – Cointegration, Freakonomics and SNA

This is a post that was just waiting to be written, given the dormant econometrician in me! I am referring here to: Cointegration modeling- an approach that models the behaviour of two or more non-stationary (i.e. with values that do not return to a fixed value or fluctuate around a trend) variables across time, cointegration grabbed... Continue Reading →

20th ICCE – Reflections

The 20th ICCE at Mauritius in retrospect was an exciting conference. What I was thrilled by is the amazing variety of approaches that teachers and educators are using to teach Chemistry. Peter Hollamby was using simple Powerpoint, Excel and Word macros along with Flash based animations to do a variety of cool things - like... Continue Reading →

20th ICCE Day 1

I am at the 20th ICCE at Mauritius and am getting a chance to interact with Chemistry educators and researchers from all over the world on their thoughts and approaches to using ICT in Science education. A very interesting and interactive session by Prof. Peter Mahaffy around climate change and the role of chemistry was... Continue Reading →

Connectives and Collectives

George Siemens interesting and provocative presentation at D2L Fusion 2008 titled Connectives and Collectives: Learning Alone, together talks about the autonomy of self (Connectives) and the subsumption of self (Collectives). He quotes: “Intense connectivity can homogenize the pool…high cohesiveness can lead to the sharing of common rather than novel information” Uzzi, Spiro (2005) George suggests... Continue Reading →

A stitch in time saves Twine

I talked not long ago of Networks of Practice and Learning Formations. I talked about learning effectiveness as a function of individual and network strength and possible optimizations of access to information and connections to people. And Twine is the perfect example of this. A networking site that incorporates evolutionary personalization of content and networking... Continue Reading →

The new age of innovation

The book by the same name written by C.K. Prahalad and M.S. Krishnan has much to offer us in the learning industry. There is a fundamental transformation in the way we do business and it is critical for companies to negotiate two fundamental pillars of this change - co-created experiences and access (rather than ownership)... Continue Reading →


It was Dapper that was great. And now I have seen Twitter Earth and Dipity - two extremely intersting "mashups" that essentially give you a visual story of your activities. To give you a flavour, I just had to link Dipity with this blog to get a visual timeline! You could even get a spatial... Continue Reading →

Learn@Work and Work@Learn

Part of the Work at Learning/Learning at Work blog carnival hosted by Manish Mohan. A few months back, I started two collaborative multi-author blogs for my company (one for my software development team and one for my e-learning development team) and helped a couple of other individuals at work to start their own. I also... Continue Reading →

The “Job” of Innovation

Innovation is a weird beast. At one end it arouses vivid and rapturous enthusiasm about the future and the promises it holds. On the other, it is constrained by real-life constraints and mindsets. Perhaps the greatest challenge is focus and that is what this post is about. How to resolve the apparent conflict of being radically... Continue Reading →


Ning. It is out there. A tool to help you create your own learning network. This tool allows you to create a community, link blogs, track activity, make announcements and create discussion forums. This is a really cool way of getting started quickly on sharing and collaboration.

VoiceThread, Snapvine – Conversations

Pictures are worth a thousand words. That is exactly what VoiceThread is attempting to capture. It is not hard to see how this could really be used as an effective teaching tool or be extended to multiple formats (it does doc, images and video already) as well. This innovation leverages the thought that conversation can... Continue Reading →

Social Learning Networks

I stumbled across LearnHub, a social learning network that combines social networking, community ratings, learning and structured teaching. This is a really innovative solution that provides teachers the capability to teach online and host discussions among other things.  Teachers can create lessons, tests, courses and tutoring sessions. Any one can start or join multiple communities... Continue Reading →

Notes on Instructional Design

A lot of good thinking has been provoked by Tony Karrer's provocative questions. Manish and Geetha have also been responding to these thoughts. Here are my 2 cents. For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to approach Instructional Design in a manner similar to my approach for Software and Database design.... Continue Reading →

Microsoft Surface

Amazing is the word to describe it. Please do visit it at Surface. This is really much much more than a touch screen. It recognizes physical objects like digital cameras, mobile phones and Zunes and enables sharing of files and data between them. It allows you to use your hand movement to perform routine actions... Continue Reading →

Enterprise software training in a 2.0 world

Enterprise-wide software training solutions need to be re-evaluated in a 2.0 world. As the definitions of the learner and the learning experience change with elearning 2.0 and Web 2.0, we must look at the state and sophistication of available solutions that help rapid development and deployment of software training enterprise-wide. There are many automated tool-sets available... Continue Reading →

Singularity and e-Learning

Ray Kurzweil, widely known and worshipped as an author and inventor, talks about how technology and biology will get increasingly integrated given the advances in  nanotechnology, gene technology and machine intelligence.   He states "…We will combine our brain power—the knowledge, skills, and personality quirks that make us human—with our computer power in order to... Continue Reading →

The strategic inflection point

Only the paranoid survive. Andrew Grove's 2003 book by the same name reflects on the strategic inflection point when something in the environment changes in a fundamental way that is not so apparent in our daily chaos of survival. Andrew writes of how a 10X change in any one force (following Porter’s classical competitive strategy... Continue Reading →


The learning process appears to be inherently chaotic. Let us look at the different dimensions. The course content, instructional strategy, quality of instruction, cultural-historical variations, our own personalities, technology experience, accessibility and a host of other dimensions impact the learning process. It is a small wonder that we manage to teach and learn in the... Continue Reading →

The Race for X.0

Well, the rush is on to futurecast the next generation of everything! The pundits are exhaling everything related to community, content, social learning, commerce, technology, change, collaboration, virtualization, personalization, ubiquity, context, search, faceted classification et al into new versions and avatars of the web and learning. The race is on getting the next version X.0... Continue Reading →

Rich Internet Applications and eLearning 2.0

Rich Internet Applications technology is gaining ground in learning development as a means of providing feature rich functionality, extensibility and highly interactive user interfaces at the level of a web browser. The Servitium team recently developed the prototype of a concept that merged the developments in RIA (with Flex), social constructivism and Web 2.0. Apart... Continue Reading →

Content Equivalence

Can we really achieve easy morphing from one content type to another? Imagine a well structured lab printed manual being converted to an audio file into an actual video showing steps of a process? All automagically, of course.  Well, not so magical after all! Just when I was looking at Content Equivalence, comes New Scientist... Continue Reading →

Fusing the learning experience

As more customers have started looking at Web 2.0 and learning 2.0 as a way to encourage greater learner engagement and learning effectiveness, I believe the way web based training (WBT) courses are created right now should change. WBTs should have the elements of collaboration within them. Take for example a course on Ethics that... Continue Reading →

Web 3.0 and the Big Five in Five

Albert Lai, founder of bubbleshare recently presented his view of where we are headed next as part of the Mind-to-Market Breakfast series organized by the Ontario Centre of Excellence, Canada. The network is the phone is the key slogan for Web 3.0. Given the increasing capacity and sophistication of mobile phones & networks and the worldwide trends... Continue Reading →

Yet another life!

Well, if one life was not enough! I have reading about Secondlife for some time now and decided to get an account. Am called Viplav Tigerpaw now! Secondlife and learning seem to be apparently powerful allies in that the user experience is enhanced considerably in a virtual collaborative world. So email is a thing of... Continue Reading →

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