Final Program for 4th Usability Symposium

The final program of this year’s Usability Symposium at Graz University of Technology is now available.
Here you will find all sessions, workshops and presentations given by a broad range of international researchers.
Again the topic for this conference is “Human Computer Interaction for Education” and adresses to special needs of software for educational purposes. Hopefully you enjoy the programm and we will meet each other on 20th and 21st of November in Graz.

[publication] Why We Need Edupunk

I have published an article about the necessity of EduPunk in formal institutions in the Journal of Social Informatics.
Titel: Why We Need Edupunk (Full Article)

Jim Groom coined in his Weblog a new term called EduPunk and expressed his anger about rigid and commercial platforms. He postulated “that taking imaginative experiments of others and wrapping them up as a product that can be bought” is ignoring valuable work of lecturers. By adding three facets Stephen Downes enhanced this definition and thus helped the term to seemingly sweep the edublogosphere.
In an emerging and growing educational field using Web 2.0 applications for teaching and learning purposes the term EduPunk deserves a closer attention. Considering that learning has always been a highly social process EduPunk must be seen as valuable and important way of educating people. EduPuk helps to carry out new didactical approaches and therefore improve the future of teaching and learning.
At Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) a new concept in consequence to this thoughts has been realized. The presented strategy allows combining traditional methods and e-Learning facilities as well as new Web 2.0 applications.
Objective: To present a concept for universities how the WorldWideWeb especially different Web 2.0 applications can be integrated in a daily used Learning Management System (LMS) and allow lecturers to be and become “EduPunks”.
Implementation: The existing learning management system was adapted and extended to the specific needs.
Conclusion: EduPunk as effective strategy for technology enhanced learning.

Reference: Ebner, M. (2008), Why We Need EduPunk, JOURNAL OF SOCIAL INFORMATICS, June 2008, Nr. 9, ISSN 1584-384X, p. 1-9,

[conference] Die Lehre an Universitäten

Am 28. und 29.11.2008 findet am Zentrum für Soziale Kompetenz der Karl-Franzens Universität Graz eine Tagung zum Thema “Die Lehre an Universitäten – Vom Schattendasein ins Rampenlicht” statt.
Ich werde zusammen mit meiner Kollegin Elisabeth Görsdorf einen Workshop über “e-Learning – ein notwendiges Übel?” abhalten und freue mich natürlich über viele interessierte TeilnehmerInnen.
Hier gibt es die Tagungswebseite und hier den Folder.

[project] ePhilosophy with Children

Im Rahmen eines EU-Projektes von verschiedenen Schulen in 4 Staaten übernimmt die Gruppe Vernetztes Lernen die technische Leitung. In dem Projekt soll Philosophieren mit Kindern im Unterricht umgesetzt und dies von Neuen Medien unterstützt werden. Es werden dabei vor allem Weblogs zum Einsatz kommen.
Abstract des Antrages:

The growth of children is related to their environment that is strongly influenced by technological developments. Children still have a natural attitude of questioning, searching for answers and being amazed during their journey within the ‘circle of inquiry’.
Philosophy offers children the chance to explore concepts, to strengthen their own capacity to appraise and respond to alternatives, improve their thinking, to self-correct their habits of thought, feeling and action through sustained ethical inquiry.
In this project we will realize an ongoing platform for Philosophy with Children. The aim is that children from different countries develop a community by philosophizing on subjects like culture, tolerance, children rights and intercultural dialogue. Not only language skills will be developed, but also the meaning of words in their cultural context will become more clearly. The use of ICT skills is important for their verbal and written communication. By debating on the weblog, children will be able to react on someone’s opinion, reflect on their own thoughts and will learn to express their own ideas whilst respecting other people and their cultures. The created awareness will be broadened in a motivational manner.

Die Laufzeit beträgt 2 Jahre und wir sind sehr gespannt auf den Verlauf. Natürlich werde ich immer wieder berichten.