Association for Learning Technology Online Newsletter
Issue 7 January 2007   Saturday, January 27, 2007

ISSN 1748-3603

Cover Page »
Feature article
Partnerships with Palestinians
Where is the E in L itch? Embedded or Invisible?
Leitch: another skills report
The Quality Improvement Agency’s (QIA) response to Leitch
Leitch is no Occam
Case studies
Mobile Learning
The Tribal Education Innovation Challenge
Accessibility awareness raising and continuing professional development
Project updates
JANET Voice Service
Conference reviews
mLearn 2006: Across generations and cultures
LAMS 2006
Online Educa Berlin 2006
Software reviews
Using Wink to create software presentations
ALT news
Director's report
Executive Secretary's report
News from the Netherlands
Publications from the SURF e-learning website
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Issue 6 October 2006
October 30, 2006
Issue 5, July 2006
July 11, 2006
Issue 4 April 2006
April 27, 2006
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Publications from the SURF e-learning website
by Marja Verstelle, Peter B Sloep, Gayle Calverley

For those who are familiar with this column, you can jump to this edition's Current Items below.

For those of you new to this item, you may be interested to know that:

  • From time to time ALT-N will provide summaries of articles published in English on the SURF E-learning Theme Site that may be of interest to members of ALT. Links to PDFs of the work and contact details will be provided. To receive email notification of SURF newsletters e-mail: with the subject heading 'subscribe English newsletter'.
  • The E-learning Themesite focuses on developments within Dutch institutions of higher education. It publishes information on practical evaluations, instruments, and research results related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and educational innovation. The site also contains discussions about leading publications and websites. It is aimed at all Learning Technologists involved in the use of ICT in educational innovation. The site contains an archive of newsletters. The site is an initiative of the SURF Foundation, the higher education and research partnership organisation for network services and information and communications technology (ICT) in the Netherlands.

Current Items

Connectivism, a new learning theory? by: Pløn Verhagen (University of Twente)
George Siemens may be one of the most controversial speakers on many e-learning conferences, including the 'SURF Onderwijsdagen' (SURF"s yearly conference) in mid November. In his article "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age" from 2004 Siemens denounces the limitations of behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism and introduces connectivism as a learning theory for the digital era. Pløn Verhagen, Professor Educational Design at the University of Twente, shares his opinions on connectivism.

Knowing Knowledge
The views of George Siemens, featured speaker at the next SURF Onderwijsdagen, are definitely controversial. His theory on learning in a digital era, connectivism, is strongly appealing but also raises many questions, specifically on its scientific foundations and its application in practice. will soon publish Siemens’ book “Knowing Knowledge”. This book presents further support for Siemens’ vision and provides practical tips for implementing connectivism in an organisation. Knowledge management expert Ton Zijlstra of Proven Partners reviews the book at the invitation of SURF E-Learning. Hot off the press, or rather, using the proofs which Siemens had just published on his weblog.

Available in English at:

Comm.unities.of.Prac.tice 2.0
Martin Kloos assessed the impact of weblogs, wikis and social bookmarking on learning in communities of practice for his Master's Thesis. Using three case studies, students of the University of Amsterdam were interviewed on their experiences with social software in general, and more specifically with blogs, wikis and social bookmarking. The findings were related to a well-known architecture for learning by Etienne Wenger, one of the founders of the theory behind communities of practice. Martin Kloos explains his Master Thesis "Comm.unities.of.Prac.tice 2.0" for the E-learning Themesite.

HBO Kennisbank: a wealth of knowledge
Each year students, teachers and lecturers of the universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands produce thousands of final year reports, researches, theses, papers and articles. Many of these do not get the attention they deserve. The HBO Kennisbank (Universities of applied sciences' Knowledge Bank) is a digital repository in which students and staff can store their work and make it accessible to interested parties. In collaboration with the SURF Foundation seven Dutch universities of applied sciences have taken a first, major step in making their knowledge products accessible in a single place.

Available in English at:
Available in Dutch at:

For further information on this work contact Desiree van den Bergh, projectleader HBO-Kennisbank, mail to or read a newsarticle in Dutch at

Review: Diana G. Oblinger's "Learning Spaces", a helicopter flight over physical and virtual learning environments
The e-book "Learning Spaces" by Educause Vice President Diana Oblinger appeared in September 2006. To Oblinger learning spaces are both physical and virtual environments. The book has been written by a multidisciplinary group of authors, who mainly have their experiences in establishing new learning spaces in common. In the Netherlands there is also increasing interest in the impact of the design on the learning environment. Bert Frissen is actively involved in this subject at Avans Hogeschool. Below he shares his impressions, and he also puts forward a proposal. How about setting up an e-Showroom on learning spaces in higher education in the Netherlands?

For further information on this review contact:

Bert Frissen, Avans University of Applied Sciences
or contact the editor of the e-book: Diana Oblinger, Vice President Educause

We look forward to bringing you more topics from the Netherlands over the coming months.

Gayle Calverley

Peter B. Sloep

Marja Verstelle
Editor in Chief SURF E-learning Theme Site

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