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Welcome to Daniel K. Schneider's Wikilog about educational technology, technologies, and related subjects.

It is used both as a personal blog and for announcing EdutechWiki news (for older news we just used a wiki page).

Other users too can and should have a wikilog, but it never happened so far....

vacation time

I hope that everyone gets some time for vacation. We do and this is why EduTechWiki was down for a few days (nobody noticed that the boot partition was full...). Sorry

The Practice of Reproducible Research

Kitzes, J., Turek, D., & Deniz, F. (Eds.). (2017). The Practice of Reproducible Research: Case Studies and Lessons from the Data-Intensive Sciences. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

This free e-book “contains a collection of 31 case studies of reproducible research workflows, written by academic researchers in the data-intensive sciences. Each case study describes how the author combined specific tools, ideas, and practices in order to complete a real-world research project. Emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of how the author organized his or her research to make it as reproducible as possible.”

Quote from the introduction: “A research project is computationally reproducible if a second investigator (including you in the future) can recreate the final reported results of the project, including key quantitative findings, tables, and figures, given only a set of files and written instructions.”

(Open access) journals in educational technology created by R.A. Perkins and P.R Lowenthal currently is the best inventory (in English) of educational technology journals.

Perkins, R. A., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2016). Open access journals in educational technology: Results of a survey of experienced users. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(3), 18-37. doi:

More information:

A challenge

"Using new digital technology to improve education is not rocket science... it is much, much harder than that” (Diana Laurillard, 2009

Quoted by Mark Brown, The Story of Digital Learning: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be, (slides, retrieved May 25 2016)

2016-02 News

After 6 month (or more) of being broken, the wikilog extension works again :)

First of all I wish everyone a happy and productive new 2016 !

Since last summer there are not many interesting changes in this wiki I am afraid (except updates here and there). On the other hand, the french cousin does fairly well thanks to the contributions of our students.

Last semester (from sept 2015 to Jan 2016) I taught my first full class on digital design and fabrication. Students had to create construction kits in one of the three categories construction and design, conceptual manipulation or reality role play (explained in Constructionist learning object), or directly read Zuckerman, Oren (2006), Historical Overview and Classification of Traditional and Digital Learning Objects). The result is here. If you don't speak french, you still can look at pictures and try to find the downloadables. Each project has wiki page for that (follow the links to the left of the pictures).

In the same vein, in December 2015, I got a new Felix Pro 1 3D printer and I am happy with it. 3D printing now is almost easy. It still takes many hours to print anything and print aborts can happen with certain designs and plastics. At least this new machine can automatically calibrate its platform and like its ancestors it's reliable (yes I do recommend it and I believe it to be a better choice than some of these backbreaking models made in the USA liked by the trade mags). Platform calibration is IMHO the biggest stumbling block for novices. It also has a quickly removable platform. That prevents beginners to destroy the printer's geometry when forcibly removing prints without grace and skill.

While Geneva still doesn't have a Fablab (I am talking about a simple makerspace and not the "real thing"), we now got at least a loose 3D printing community, organized by the 3D nursery from our computer science centre. The little French border town St-Julien (15 minutes away from us) is more dynamic:

The citizen cyberlab project is over. In this wiki, it generated two fallouts: Portal: citizen science and Portal: Data mining and learning analytics tools and I will continue working a bit in this area, teach some tools like Pybossa or Epicollect, and interact with my other colleagues involved with our new Citizen Cyberlab.

This year I will work a bit on literacies (digital, cultural and other sorts) and there will be traces in the wiki. I also promised to create a little Mooc on e-learning standards. Not sure that this was a good decision, but I'll try to do it (and find a way to be somewhat creative) ....

CFP - IEEE TLT Special Issue on Wearable Tech and the Internet of Things in Education & Training

From Mark J. W. Lee, Guest Editor, IEEE TLT Special Issue on "Wearable Technologies and the Internet of Things in Education and Training":

Manuscript proposals are being solicited for a special issue of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies (Impact Factor: 1.22) on "Wearable Technologies and the Internet of Things in Education and Training".

The deadline for the submission of proposals (500-word extended abstracts plus 8-10 key references in IEEE format) is June 15, 2015. The authors of shortlisted proposals will have until the end of September to submit their full manuscripts.

The Call for Papers is available at the following URL:

Server change and upgrade

I moved this and our other wikis to new hardware with fresh software and upgraded most everything that was not freshly installed. There may be some problems that I will fix over the next few days or weeks.

  • Versions: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Php 5.5.9, MediaWiki 1.24.x
  • The hardware is a DELL PowerEdge R815, 2x AMD Opteron 6320, 8C, 2.8GHz, 8M L2/16M L3, 128GB RAM, PERC H700 Raid Controller, 4 500GB, SATA, 2.5-in, 7.2K RPM Drives. It runs our MediaWikis and supporting software and nothing else. We bought the machine last summer, but it took time to install because I wanted to do it myself in order to keep a handle on how such things are done ;)
  • Mediawiki installation (installation notes for people who plan to install their own)
  • I also enabled the visual editor. Depending on what kind of content you edit, pick either Edit (for visual editing), Edit source (for precision work) or Edit form (semantic forms associated with a page).

Special issue of Human Computation on Citizen Science

Quote: “We are pleased to present a special issue of Human Computation. It includes a carefully vetted sample of articles submitted by attendees of the 3rd annual Citizen Cyberscience Summit. Citizen Science represents a rapidly growing application space for human computation as well as an opportunity for the general public to learn about science through participation. These papers were selected inasmuch for their meritorious scholarship as for their diversity in representing a spectrum of HC methods.”

Another item of interest:

  • An online community and collection of informal STEM learning projects, evaluation, and research resources ...

List of physical visualizations

Pierre Dragicevic and Yvonne Jansen redesigned and updated their List of Physical Visualizations and Related Artifacts.

Cool !

As of December 18, 2014, the first entry starts like this: “The earliest data visualizations were likely physical: built by arranging stones or pebbles, and later, clay tokens. According to an eminent archaeologist (Schmandt-Besserat, 1999): "Whereas words consist of immaterial sounds, the tokens were concrete, solid, tangible artifacts, which could be handled, arranged and rearranged at will. For instance, the tokens could be ordered in special columns according to types of merchandise, entries and expenditures; donors […]”

This calls for further work on our little 2013 Using a thesis project board design experiment.

October 2014 news

Sorry for not posting more updates and news over the last month. Been too busy. Our plans for the near future are to move this wiki to a better machine, upgrade to a WysWyg editor (as soon as it works with [MW version 1.24]) and redesign the home page and the overall navigation. We also plan to sponsor important new additions, such as Memorial's contributions in Affordances and constraints of learning technologies or structured information portals designed with SMW technology such as Portal: Data mining and learning analytics tools.

Update: The new machine is still not used, still no time. But I feel that migration and updates could happen fairly soon. This would imply some downtimes...

Serious artwork

According to a slightly edited Zooniverse mailing received on oct 9 2014, We Need Us is an artistic visualization of Zooniverse Citizen science activities. It has has been created by artist Julie Freeman. She takes anonymised information from participant's clicks, counting the number of volunteers active, and classifications that they create, every minute. She stores this as sets of values, while also recording the frequency of activity over an hour, a day, and a month. These sets of values create rhythms that are translated into moving shapes, and play different sounds.

See also STEAM-powered computing education, the combination of Art and engineering does seem to have a bright future!

OpenSym (WikiSym) 2014

OpenSym / WikiSym 2014 joint conference

the 10th International Symposium on Open Collaboration /
the 10th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration
August 27-29, 2014, Berlin, Germany

Calls Submission, deadline for papers
April 20th, 2014
Calls for special tracks (there are more....)

Expanding Your Horizons

Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is an international program created to allow 11 to 14 year old girls attending public or private schools to discover the numerous careers available in the areas of science and technology.

Look at our contribution to the 2014 Geneva conference. Two groups of EduTech master students will run workshops featuring 3D printing and digital embroidery and cutting.

Semantic MediaWiki Convention Fall 2013

What is learned from using different media

Have a look at: Patricia M. Greenfield (2009). Technology and Informal Education: What is taught and what is learned, Science, 323, 69-71. PDF reprint.

While the article focuses on learning from using technology it goes beyound and includes an interesting list of references. Quote “[...] no one medium can do everything. Every medium has its strengths and weaknesses; every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others. Although the visual capabilities of television, video games, and the Internet may develop impressive visual intelligence, the cost seems to be deep processing: mindful knowledge acquisition, inductive analysis, critical thinking, imagination, and reflection.”

Parents' online behavior (as parents)

Interesting literature review:

Dworkin, J., Connell, J., & Doty, J. (2013). A literature review of parents’ online behavior. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 7(2), article 2. doi: 10.5817/CP2013-2-2

Quote: “This literature review revealed that parents go online to search for parenting information and social support and generally report satisfaction with the resources they find on the Internet. Parents still express hesitation in trusting various online resources, though, and desire greater education in Internet searching and deciphering the credibility of online information.” (Abstract).

The review also points out that more research is needed and that not all parents may be informed consumers of online information...

Impressive presentations with impress.js

Here is some fallout from this week's teaching at Webster. A good way to learn CSS is to play with impress.js, i.e. have students modify the style sheet.

August 2013 News


This wiki now runs under development code. I finally decided that it was both easier on system administration, safer and more exciting since we can play with bleeding edge extensions. To investigate: The skin for Firefox/Ubuntu can create overlaps.

Semantic MediaWiki

We started using Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) and various extensions like Semantic Forms for real. I will update here once we got something to show. I do think that SMW does have great potential for both research and education. For example, see the Galaxy Zoo page. The template behind was styled by Julien for our EU Citizen CyberLab project. Presentation of structured information can be nice in a wiki and editing with forms is easy. In addition, one can create automatic summary tables and more ... stay tuned.

Student contributions

Over the summer we had two classes contributing, one from from Memorial University, Canada and another from Saarland University, Germany. I'd like to express my thanks to both teachers and students ! I'll post more about these contributions, sometimes later.

Translating Euclid - Designing a Human-Centered Mathematics

An interesting new book by Gerry Stahl. Quote:

“The wellsprings of human creativity and logical thinking that flowed forth in the origins of Greek geometry were progressively covered over and transformed into regulated procedures and otherworldly objects. 20th century philosophy frames this cover-up as a paradigmatic example of the over-reach of rationalization. In the sequence of world-historic epochs, successive reification of phenomena of geometry and more generally of the being of objects altered the relation of people to reality. These transformations are associated with the rise of rationalism and an ideology of individualism. Although these changes brought powerful advantages, they now need to be balanced by an approach of human-centered informatics, which guides students to understand the principles of geometry as products of human creative-discovery.” (p. 29).

This book has passages addressing problems beyond geometry, i.e. I bought it because it also addresses design “The proposed conception of geometry emphasizes the central role of the construction of dependencies as a design activity, integrating human creation and mathematical discovery to form a human-centered approach to mathematics.” (Abstract)

Fast electric bikes (ebikes)

Ebikes are trendy, because they allow for fast and easy transport in cities. In addition, they can be used for commuting and they positively contribute to our planet's ecology. There are interesting opportunities for education:

  • Technical design and STEM principles: An ebike as learning object can be used to study mechanics, physics and electronics.
  • Technical design (advanced): At least one of the better designs was made in collaboration with an engineering school
  • Technical design and fabrication (DYI): E-bikes can be hand-crafted, i.e. be used as ambitious object in a design and fabrication class
  • Teaching evaluation methodology: Evaluation of e-bikes is relatively easy, and could be conducted as a class project

Now with respect to "fast". Some countries do not seem to have any restrictions, but most do. E.g. in Germany or Switzerland you are allowed to buy ratified pedal-assisted bikes that provide assistance to 45km/h. If you live in France or the UK you are out of luck ...

Read more in electric bikes in education

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