Archive for the ‘Tips and ideas’ Category


Annual Night of Culture in Second Life

October 14, 2010

Tomorrow I am joining the Annual Night of Culture events in Second life. This interesting initiative is among other arranged by PhD student Marianne Riis aka Mariis in Second Life.

I was so fortunate to meet Mariis this afternoon in Second Life, where she briefly showed how she can change space so that in one moment it is a space for teaching and the next it is a Friday bar.

I find it very interesting that there seems to be an increase in arrangements of virtual/online conferences/conference activities using among other Second Life.

Today I recieved an invitation to virtual participation in next year’s AACE (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education) conference.

This development within academia is definitely something I will pursue further, especially, as it could bring new options for gathering and engaging people from around the world in academic activities and research events, when viewed from an economic perspective.

The Nordic Virtual Worlds Network has published a series of interviews with experts on virtual worlds and the future of virtual worlds. These are available online and they are quite interesting.

See you in Second Life…

🙂 Mikala Afterthought (my Second Life resident name)


Opportunity to partially follow EASST 2010 in Trento online NOW

September 2, 2010

Right now the EASST 2010 conference is going on in Trento, Italy. I received an e-mail about EASST related online events ( Twitter and blog) that might be of interest to others like me that were not able to participate themselves.

The people behind the two initiatives write that it is:

a project for all those who don’t find
the time or money to go to conferences

“Practising science and technology, performing the social” is the title of the EASST010 conference in Trento (Italy) which takes place from 2nd to 4th September 2010. Many researchers in science and technology studies will go there, probably some technologists too. And a few students will be there too. There are usually much more students interested in conference themes than those who actually find the time and money to finally attend such a conference.

For all those who cannot physically go to this conference, we started this little project, to in return make our own conference visit possible (as we got some financial support for this project by the local students union). On this weblog we will provide live commentary of what we encounter at the conference. Additionally we will put here daily reflections on what is going on at the conference. We also will try to find some well-known science and technology scholars who have time to do an interview, which then will be provided at the blog.”

The initiators call themselves “a bunch of computer science as well as science and technology students from Vienna (Austria)”. They launch everything in accordance with this Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike license which is worth looking at too for inspiration.

It is a wonderful initiative (that also illustrates the conference title perfectly), and I look forward to following the emerging activities. Hopefully a lot of EASST participants will feel encouraged to share their experiences and reflections on the blog and via Twitter.


Connecting Design Thinking, Teaching and Learning

August 22, 2010

The workshop with Dan Gilbert “Connecting Design Thinking, Teaching and Learning” was quite interesting.

First I noted that he mentioned that Stanford University has had the goal to “make creative requirement a goal”.

I think that creative requirement should be a goal in all educational programmes. But how do you foster this?

One way is to be good at rapidly generating ideas, identifying needs, problems, and finding solutions.

At the workshop Dan Gilbert engaged us in a rapid exercise to identify a problem related to our students.

1. do an 1-1 interview, 5 minutes each, where you take turns answering these questions:

  1. “I wish my students…”
  2. Why can’t I accomplish that…?
  3. Why?… Why…?

2. round-table: Briefly state what are the participants problems. Select one of the problems. Spent 5 minutes brainstorming suggestions for solutions to this problem. Select one solution.

3. Spend 10 minutes on preparing a presentation (with whatever is at hand) where you show and tell about the solution (in 30 sec.).

It was a fun, boundary crossing, surprisingly effective, and learningful experience :-).


Divergent and convergent thinking processes

August 22, 2010

From Renate Fruchter (founding director of Problem Based Learning Laboratory (PBL Lab), I have learned that brainstorming proceses may consist of two kinds of thinking processes: 

  1. Divergent thinking processes: where you explore and open up
  2. Convergent thinking processes: where you narrow down, focus, and make closure

Of course, I already knew this. But Renate just introduced this in a way that I found quite easy to relate to.

Renate Fruchter’s workshop at the “ICT and Innovative Learning Environments in Danish Universities” was another good reminder, that the value of brainstorming processes as a kick-off for idea generation and development of designs for teaching with ICTs should not be underestimated.

Renate made it appear quite unproblematic. She introduced two principles. The BBI principle involves thinking in terms of what is needed:

  • Bricks
  • Bits
  • Interaction

The D+C principle is about thinking in action (D= design and C= Collaboration).

With these principles and a focus on instructional/teaching design generation that emphasizes problem, process, product, people, project, Renate Fruchter presented these ingredients in the process:

  • experimental 
  • being mindful about the process
  • creating clarity from complexity
  • collaboration across boarders
  • showing and telling
  • focusing on human values
  • not having a bias towards action

Keeping this in mind, the next brainstorming process may not be that troublesome :-).


What is this?

August 22, 2010

At the conference “ICT and Innovative Learning Environments in Danish Universities” I learned this cool and easy way to start thinking about innovation from Dan Gilbert (founder and creative principal of Learning Innovations Inc.):

  • Take two minutes. Brainstorm on a piece of paper “What is this?” (e.g. a pencil. Not what it really is, but what it could be)

Point of this exercise? To see that innovation is a matter of opening up, being inventive, imaginative. Furthermore, innovation can be a matter of rapid generation of ideas, identification of problems, and finding solutions.

Innovation can be about finding ways to make (better) things happen faster.

I think that ‘the world’ I come from could learn a lot from this little exercise :-). Try it. It is an eye-opener!


This is where the internet ends

February 8, 2008

There exist many versions of the very last page of the internet in English and Danish, and most likely in any language.

I’m interested in these kinds of pages (presented as one here) because I see them as examples of enacting spatiality through inserting differences.

This example of a boundary enacting page creates off- and online activities as particularly separate forms of everyday living. 

I view this page as an example of imagining the internet as an ‘inside’ version of the living world, related to but separated from the  ‘outside’ version of the living world.

The ‘outside’ presented here is a matter of (new) experiences of nature and engagements in physical movements. It is interesting that what ‘conventionally’ constitutes nature (= physical movements and biology) is in this example made somewhat exotic, peculiar and strange. The internet version of the living world is made ‘the natural’ way of being. However, even though the two versions are made to coexist, you need (to be motivated) to leave the one, in order to enter the other. 

My Translation:

This is where the internet ends
You have now reached the very last page on the internet. We hope you’ve enjoyed surfing. Now it’s time to go out and play.

Suggestions for what to do outside:

  • Take a walk. Which means using your legs for moving around – it’s called strolling
  • Jogging. This means moving around and using your legs a bit faster than when walking. If you jogg fast, it is called running.
  • Bicycling. Going by bike to experience nature in real 3D! Stop the bike once in a while and look at the trees and the rocks.
  • If it’s a hot day, and there’s water nearby, you can take a swim. This is not something you should do if you cannot swim. Then you can do something called bathing.
  • Visit someone you know
HTTP 101 – Have a splendid day!
Greetings the internet

I want to thank Jette Agerbo ( for guiding my attention towards this lovely page called “This is where the internet ends”:

Thanks to whoever made it. I just love it 🙂

On-Line writings – Copyright

The online writings on this website may be cited or briefly quoted in line with the usual academic conventions. You may also copy or download them for your own personal use. However, the writings must not be published elsewhere (e.g. to mailing lists, bulletin boards etc.) without the author’s explicit permission. Please note that if you copy my writings you must:

• include this copyright note

• you should observe the conventions of academic citation in a version of the following form:

e.g. Hansbøl, Mikala: “This is where the internet ends”, published at Mikala’s Klumme – A researcher’s blog: Version 15th February 2008. 


Got stuck? Two suggestions for ways out of it…

December 11, 2007

1. Find a person who will spend 10 minuttes listening to you telling about your project. Record your own speech and listen to it afterwards. It probably becomes quite clear what are your imaginaries, boxes belonging to these, their strengths, weaknesses and – especially – accomplishments 🙂 .

2. There is nothing more liberating than freeing oneself from the strings attached to the unfair efforts of trying to squeeze oneself into boxes (whether them being theoretical umbrellas, concrete tasks defined by others, or particular imaginaries of everyday life) – especially when they are not your own. 

Describing accomplishments also includes learning, and therefore, one might as well let go of imaginaries and the boxes that belong to these, and instead think out of and across (conventional) boxes – even when it means maybe writing ‘stuff’ that contradicts what one has been writing before.