Category Archives: Semester 1

Learning Diary

A learning diary - or as I call it here, a journal - is a good possibility to review what you've learned. Just by writing about your thoughts to a specific topic you are thinking about everything again and by that are somehow forced to remember. Since the current semester is almost over, I can evaluate my learning diary writing now.

I must admit that it was quite difficult to write something regularly. And this is mainly because it is quite time consuming, especially in the beginning. Thinking of, that I would do this for every course I have during the semester (that was the plan at the beginning), I would be quite occupied with writing. But again, this is a matter of practice. I wasn't really used to do this kind of writing, so I had some difficulties with my first entries. Now, at the end of the semester after I wrote some entries (but still not as much as I wanted to), it's slowly becoming easier.

I actually like this and I will try to keep on writing this journal during the rest of my master studies. Especially when using wordpress this might be very helpful for me. For example using hypertext to connect old and new knowledge looks interesting to me. Also the possibility to go back to old entries and add or alter them is great.

I used this of course with my computer. I logged in and wrote some entries. But I also used this with my BlackBerry. This is great when I am on the go. I can write some entries while I am waiting for public transport and this way use the time for something meaningful.

Writing an entry to my learning diary on my BlackBerry


Actually I like e-learning. I have a quite big internet affinity. So of course I like using my computer and the internet for learning.
But I have a problem how e-learning is done by many companies, organisations and different people. Like I already mentioned in the mobile learning entry, the whole e-learning area with all its subsets is so focused on technology. Of course technology is the key to e-learning. It makes it possible. But it is very often so bad made that it is just not useful. Which in the end makes e-learning useless.
This is a issue the e-learning area has to fight with and hopefully "they" will find ways to make everything better. Until then I guess, e-learning will take make up just a small part in my learning.

Edutainment & Game-based Learning

Edutainment and game-based learning (GBL) describe quite similar approaches for learning.

Edutainment is everything from documentations on TV to audio books for learning. GBL is somehow a subset of edutainment I would say. GBL is learning by playing. This method of learning is actually quite old. It started with so called serious games already before the era of computers. Back then people probably played some kind of card games or similar. Computers enable mor opportunities of course. Today we have simulation games with which employees can learn how certain processes work in their company. There are also many games for children for learning different things from calculating to writing.

I think learning combined with playing is just great. Traditional, normal learning can be so hard and tiring sometimes that it would be just such relief if this could be made easier.
Of course learning can't be easy always. But I think especially for children this offers great opportunities for learning.

Mobile Learning

I like the idea of mobile learning. It is great when you can do something meaningful for school or just enhancing some personal skills.

I used to do some language learning the "mobile way". I put the audio files of a polish language course on my Mp3 player and listened to the sentences when I was on the go. Of course I won't learn a language (especially a language like polish) just by listening to it. But it is good as an additional opportunity, next to practising vocabulary and grammar.

My example of mobile learning is one of the most efficient ones, in my opinion. There are of course more and different approaches for mobile learning which might be good. For example I like mobile learning in combination with augmented reality. It must be great when a mobile device adds virtual information onto the real world. In my presentation about ML I showed an example of Google's Goggles, which can display information on the screen of a mobile phone with the help of coordinates and what the build-in camera sees.

Unfortunately the mobile learning area is very focused on technology and devices. Sometimes I think the "mobile" is considered as "mobile phone". Which is a big mistake I think.

Collaborative Note Taking

Taking notes collaboratively with the help of the internet was interesting. Though, not very efficient as I think.

At the beginning I had some technical problems with my network connection. So I couldn't take part in the collaborative note taking for the first 20 minutes or so. When I got my connection working again I had problems to get into the topic again.

Assuming no technical problems during a session of collaborative note taking, this might work very well. You leverage the knowledge or ideas of the other participants. This way you might learn more about a topic or at least don't oversee some important points.

However, I think it is quite difficult to pay attention to a presentation and take notes on the computer. Or even reading what other people are writing and thinking. This can be very distracting from the actual presentation and maybe lead to getting completely lost from the topic.

When taking notes "traditionally" with pen and paper you can more easily look up to the speaker, without having a screen in your sight. Although I consider myself as being quite fast with writing on a keyboard, I'm still faster taking notes with a pen. Additionally, on paper you can easily make some scribbles or annotations to previous notes. Trying to make a scribble on the computer (assuming the "collaborative note pad" allows to so) is a pain.