Near Field Communication (NFC) in mLearning

posted Apr 24, 2012, 7:00 PM by Dianne Rees

NFC  permits quick exchange of small amounts of data between mobile devices, personal computers, and smart objects. The technology allows wireless communications over a small distance (10 cm or almost 4 inches). In practice, this means that when a user brings an NFC-enabled device in proximity to an object containing an NFC-sensitive device (i.e., an NFC  tag or another NFC-enabled device), the user can retrieve information about that object and in some cases, share information.

Creating stories with Twitter and Chirpstory

posted Apr 24, 2012, 6:56 PM by Dianne Rees   [ updated Apr 24, 2012, 6:57 PM ]

Chirpstory is a tool that allows you to tap into Twitter streams to create stories.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

Chirpstory allows you to assemble Tweets from your Twitter timeline, favorites, users, lists, and specific Twitter URLs to create a story. Just log into Chirpstory using your Twitter account and select “Create Story”  to gain access to your story dashboard.

In addition to using Tweets to generate your story, you can also include media from YouTube and from Twitter photosharing sites (e.g., Twitpic, yfrog, Flixi,, Twitgoo, and mobypicture). 


Why we can't ignore social media

posted Nov 8, 2010, 9:46 AM by Dianne Rees

I wanted to share this great Slideshare presentation by Espresso. If you haven’t been convinced yet by the many voices on Twitter describing how social media can be a tool for education, training, and action (e.g., public health, health literacy, and a general health care revolution), some of the points made here may be worth noting.


5 theories for change

posted Nov 7, 2010, 9:09 AM by Dianne Rees

Change theories are an important part of public health efforts (whether they’re explicitly referred to or not). Because change theories have significant overlap with the field of instructional design, I thought I’d discuss some of them here and call out their larger applications.

The big picture

The five theories I’ll discuss can be boiled down to three basic concepts:

  1. Cognition and behavior go hand-in-hand: what people know and think affects their actions
  2. Most behavior changes require new knowledge, but knowledge alone won’t be sufficient to cause change (i.e, don’t forget the affective components of learning)
  3. An individual’s social environment has an important influence on his/her behavior


Tell a story with QR codes

posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:11 PM by Dianne Rees

In previous posts, I’ve described the basic elements of QR codes and  some ways that QR codes can be used in education and in workplace training.

Free QR code generators and readers abound and some general QR code tools  can be found in this resource collection I created using Trailmeme.


Springnote: A virtual, collaborative notebook

posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:10 PM by Dianne Rees

Springnote is a virtual notebook you can explore for personal use or as a collaboration tool.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

Signing into Springnote gives you access to a multi-functional dashboard as shown below.


Blekko: a new search engine designed to slash spam

posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:08 PM by Dianne Rees

I always like exploring new search engines and came across Blekko, a platform founded in 2007, which is now in open beta. You do have to register to use Blekko, but it’s free.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

Blekko’s proclaimed mission is to allow you to “slash the web” to reduce the number of search results you get that you personally consider spam. It does this by allowing you to focus a search on websites that you (or others you follow) have collected and organized using slashtags.


TalkMiner: finding the talks you need

posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:07 PM by Dianne Rees

First of all, if you’re an instructor don’t lecture! Or at least keep it short and mixed with interactivity and problem-solving exercises. But now that that’s out of the way, if you’re a learner and looking for a webcast, talk, or lecture on a subject, TalkMiner is a database you should check out.


Social learning and radical innovation

posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:06 PM by Dianne Rees

When people talk about social learning, there’s often a tendency to act as if providing the technology to bring people together (microblogging, forums, wikis, etc) will necessarily result in knowledge sharing and that knowledge sharing will necessarily result in new, better approaches. But as we all know, the human element of that equation and the complex circumstances of most problems can make things quite a bit more messy.


Informal learning: finding the flow

posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:04 PM by Dianne Rees

Given all the attention paid lately to informal learning, you’ve probably seen pie charts like the one on the right. Formal learning’s a sliver of most workers’ lives, so it makes sense to devote time and resources to supporting informal learning opportunities.


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