Archive for May, 2007


Diver software… guided noticing

May 24, 2007

Today i got a hint from Pirkko Hyvonen about the software called Diver – Digital Interactive Video Exploration and Reflection software.

The key concept behind Diver is guided noticing.

Diver has been created as an analytical tool, however i think it can be easily used as a version of self-reflection even like a part of a portfolio.


In diver you can focus on parts of your video, zooming in to some details and making comments.

A main principle of DIVER’s design is to enhance the user’s ability to maintain peripheral awareness of context.

Each perspective can explain some parts of your personality, fulfillment of goals etc.

The tool can be used collaboratively, editing the materials in web or as a desktop program.

Two comments from the team:

We call the process of making DIVEs Free-D authoring: Capture once, author forever.

Their agenda about guided noticing

  • What is Guided Noticing?

    A two-part act for a complex situation/visual scene:

    1. pointing to, marking out, or otherwise highlighting specific aspects of it and
    2. naming, categorizing, or otherwise providing a cultural interpretation of the aspects of the scene upon which attention is focused In a two-person (or more) interaction

    1. An ‘author’ of the guidance (I guide you to notice what I notice)
    2. A ‘recipient’ of the notice
    …which is mediated by an environment in which each participant is immersed
    …and possibly time-shifted and shareable by means of recording and display technologies.

  • DIVER as augmentation tool for building collective understanding—about the subject of the video, from multiple perspectives, and shareable on WebDIVER servers.

    I must admit, i really like the collaborative part: imagine, how it can be used lets’ say in science activities when some experiment was filmed in physics classroom, and later on two participans or the student and the teacher can have a conversation based on guided noticing.

    By the way, i have seen something similar in another research tool Animal landlord, which was part of impressive inquiry programs Bguile. However, recently their server has been down.

    animal landlord

    In the Animal Landlord, students investigate variation and similarity in examples of animal behavior, studying topics such as predation, competition, and social groups. They could take snapshopts of interest from the film and comment about animal behaviour by taking notes on these snapshots.

    Diver software is in the state of development as a project lead by Roy Pea.

    Another thought, in iCamp our collaborators are developing a sort of video-weblog. I wonder, can we have such functionalities and could we use the planned tool like Diver or Animal Landlord?


    coherence paper finished

    May 23, 2007

    I am happy today to finish my paper: The Development of Conceptual Coherence Related to Seasonal Changes by Inquiry with “Young Scientist” Learning Environment

    It was one round in The Journal of Learning Sciences, and i had the deadline on me since february to write it by may for resubmitting. Of course… i could find time and emotional power to do it only now. But i think it is much more consistent now.

    The study investigated two properties of conceptual coherence: cohesiveness and consistency of conceptual knowledge. The effect of model-based inquiry with “Young Scientist” as the learning environment on primary students’ conceptual understandings about seasonal changes and their conceptual development was studied with 176 fourth-graders. The study also focused on the influence of students’ different cohesive conceptual sets of knowledge on their conceptual consistency when inquiring about the season’s phenomenon in different contextual situations. Data about students’ knowledge were collected with essays and from the “Young Scientist” environment by inserting multiple-choice items. Qualitative content analysis, K-means and discriminant analysis, and Chi-square and ANOVA procedures were used for data analysis. Five conceptually cohesive explanatory sets of knowledge about season’s phenomenon were identified. Students with different initial explanatory sets of conceptual knowledge about the causes of seasons behaved with low conceptual consistency in the inquiry phases of the “Young Scientist” learning tasks, indicating that they might have constructed the explanations newly in each phase of the inquiry rather than consistently identifying the knowledge framework of their initial explanations. The results of the study favour the application of the contextual activation of resources ideas in building the inquiry learning environments for promoting conceptual coherence development.


    testing icamp folio

    May 21, 2007

    Last saturday we made a small testing with the current icamp folio version where we tried to use the affordance-lists.

    We let our students of the affordance-based web 2.0 learning technologies course to evaluate their perceived affordances in relation of the collaborative learning activities which they previously tested in groups. The idea was that the learners of the same group could thisway see are their affordance-sets for the same activity close to each other or not.

    The system seemed to be clear for them, but in the phase of comparing each other at UserView they suddenly found out that the plotted users were situated differently at each screen. And it was not easy to explain them what they see on the plot.

    So, one thing what we need to do with the plot is to stabilise somehow the view, so that it had a meaning on the screen. For example this kind of userview would help me to find the learning-partners who perceive that they need similar affordances to conduct their activities.

    Actually, we argued with Mart would it be better in user view to use instead of affordance-conception the activity-terminology, and in the toolview the affordance terminology. For me, affordances are always emergent in between activities and tools, so they are not part as activities or tools. As they are emergent and in between, the affordances can be described using the language that is taken from the activities. Thus this separation of naming seems quite artificial, but we can do it if it seems necessary for some reasons to label the same things differently.

    Second aspect, which we discussed today with Mart and Terje was that for ToolsView we need a different approach. Each user needs a possibility to evaluate the tools according to the affordances:
    – separate tool evaluation
    – the set of tools evaluation.
    Current tool view is exactly the same as userview that is conceptually not correct.
    Why this function is useful – thisway we can talk of socially-defined decision-making about tools and toolsets in distributed learning landscapes.

    We also argued would the sum of separate tools’ affordances make up the sum of affordances for the set of integrated tools. It seems the answer is no – for example if to evaluate the affordances of an aggregator, weblog and wiki separately, we would miss that aggregators and weblogs could be easily integrated, but there would be difficulties of getting the feeds from wikis to do the same kind of monitoring.

    I hope all these ideas will make it possible now to develop a better prototype of Folio.


    day 3 of affordance-based course

    May 20, 2007

    Previously i wrote about the ideas of the affordance-based learning design course in web 2.0 environments. We collected a number of learning landscapes and activity patterns in these from the learners and tried to figure out where the difficulties in understanding the affordance conception are.

    Yesterday we had the last day of the course in which students presented their collaborative web 2.0 learning designs which they tested in groups.

    One group developed group aggregator page and intends to keep it throughout their master period.

    One group wrote about affordances in google-docs which i thought was quite interesting, because they really perceived how the group members start constraining the affordances of tools which they can use as a group.

    Two groups presented learnig environments, where they worked together using and the different instant messaging and VoiP (Skype, gabbly chat, email, msn). And one group used for istant messaging.

    One group combined information search in aggregator for constructing coursework about web 2.0 in They argued that they don’t need any messaging or VoiP to communicate, because they meet every day in realtime.

    One group integrated the homework of this course with the homework of project learning course, and developed the schemas using Vyew environment. Interesting was that they commented that the collaboration and shared learning environment design and application part where they tried to work in distributed settings was more challenging and fun for them than the project what they developed together.

    We also tested the second prototype of iCamp folio in which we changed Betty Collis activities with the list of affordances. It seemed to work nicely (only one commen came what we mean by artifacts).

    However, the problems emerged with the tool when all participanst had added their preferences of affordances thinking about their shared collaborative activity.
    We suddenly found out that the people and tools were distributed very differently at each computer-screen. I could not explain them why…

    Initially we thought that the toold is very good to demonstrate for the participants whether they had perceived affordances within their collaborative work group similarly.

    All in all the course was very positively evaluated. Some students commented later that they learned a lot how to work in self-directed manner and that the course arised a lot of new ideas how to use those environments for learning purposes.

    I also feel that we (us with the students) did something quite interesting from the theoretical viewpoint – the dataset what we collected is quite usable to understand the affordance conception in we 2.0 environments. I believe that, after i have had some time for analysis i can come up with more general assumptions.

    The course is not all over yet, we expect the last homework about the evaluation of perceived affordances, used affordances and pedagogically sound affordances within learners’ self-directed and collaborativel learning environments to clarify some more aspects about the dynamic nature of affordances, affordance-coherence in groups etc.

    All the course designs can be viewed from the course aggregator in which we feed together the participants blogs in which they did homework and reflection.


    intermediate affordances

    May 16, 2007

    Since now i have found a lot of information that affordances are intermediate in the sense that they do not belong to one tool (environment, artifact) or to the person but evolve for the person in the process when they try to do an activity with that tool.

    I will not stop on all the theory aspects i have dealt about affordances in my blog, but i point to some interesting ideas that came to my mind looking some data.

    In the affordance-based course we have now collected a lot of schemata of learning landscapes and activity patterns with web 2.0 tools. I have tried to group all the affordances, which seem important at learning settings – it seems those were related with information/artifacts, peers/tutor, environment, and pedagogical activities in different combinations.

    Some interesting examples of perceived affordances:
    relating the community reflection with the tutor’s reflection
    personalised possibility to create new ways of information access
    bookmarking important information gathered from weblogs

    From these data a particularly interesting aspect has emerged – affordances are not only the emergent characteristics, which occur when working with one tool only – several cases the distributed learning environment evokes affordances as intermediate between the tools.

    Secondly, there are many examples that affordances are expressed as intermediate charactersitics between people, which are only mediated by tools.

    Now i am thinking that if people perceive and externalise affordances as intermediate characteristics between two tools, tools and artifacts, tools and people, person to person, artifacts and people etc., then it is harder to attribute affordances to one instance only, and take them as objective functionalities (which has often occured in the literature). Affordances are by their nature intermediate phenomena in many sense.

    These new data what we have collected seems to be well in line with our ideas that affordances might be emergent in the activity systems, constraining possible interactions in those.


    locative video workshop

    May 14, 2007

    Day 1 of locative interactive videomaking seminar in Tallinn.

    The day started with short visualised intro by Chris Hales.

    Locative interactive videos can be focusing on:
    geographical locations
    narrative – story from place, anecdote
    aesthetic, landscape traditions
    social use of space

    Representing the place itself

    Michael Naimark projects

    Aspen moviemap
    Sense of place, surrogate travel – videosequences, social artist
    Record turntaking at home (with circular camera rotating at certain speed)
    Empty dead space becoming alive if the film was projected in similar room.

    Nonlinear navigation in film, certain landmarks, extra layer with additional interviews.

    Tramtracks films, in each stop you can change film…but it could be done with locative filming of people who are active in the same locations.

    Plazas of endangered cities: Stereoscopic round at several times of the day at these places

    Road 66, my personal experience of road 66, physical installations that maps the same content, using voiceover.
    Picture at every kilometer. Concept of meeting interesting people.

    The project was on the rails in the room, which resembled the 66 journey with movable monitor.

    Interactive vienna – characters introduce you vienna dimensions.

    How places with locative film content might bring forth interactions and activities with the film or between people?

    Visual narratives

    Medialab Europe
    Aspen movie-map revival
    Media-portrate: Stories in particular area of Dublin.
    Walking with handheld device the locative narrations in town.

    Adding tags to visual systems
    Feed in videos, fit with the category, same format main video, three mini-videos
    First sequence gets subjectively related with other film sequences

    Interactive cinema – evolving documentaries, feeding in nonfictional content, which becomes fictional.
    Moving map of Boston, each person in group filmed in town certain aspect central area rebuilding, some were told to film local residience, city people, places.

    Very often themes occurred – themes fear, economics, attack etc. keywords. Thumbnails of videos as a pool opf the space. User-configured perspectives can be chosen from the pool.

    Ambient narrative, soft cinema.
    Dynamically changing videos are interrelated by different closeness and can be activated differently.

    Taking interviews with people, building 3D environment where to navigate geographical routs

    In search of oldton
    Metaphorical town oldton to talk of childhood, the stories are put on map and the fictional town develops.

    Structre of the workshop process:
    – constraints will be needed
    (e.g. broad range of subject to fixed locations; fix theme and film it in wider range of locations (eg. movement etc.)).
    – geogrphical architecture of city (add visitors viewpoints)
    – interviewing local residents, this could work with the older generation: memory-based approach
    – social activities related to the place, all the factors involved in the place
    – Building projects of the place.

    One method what we could do:
    walk around and find a place of hanging around, make some basic films, interviews of the place, which other places you hang around – go to the second place and repeat the process.

    Theme: soviet and postsoviet Estonia
    War memorials in town and people perspectives in these

    On my midnight bus travel i met again with Chris and he told that videos which he saw from our participants were too locative and not that interactive, for instance no interviews were taken.


    Erno Lehtinen visiting KERG

    May 13, 2007

    Tomorrow we have a visiting guest prof. Erno Lehtinen in KERG at our unit. We hope to discuss with him about joint doctoral study issues between Finnish universities Doctoral Programme for Multidisciplinary Research on Learning Environments (OPMON) and Tallinn University.
    As Erno was my PhD supervisor, I am really happy of the opportunity to meet him again.