Mobile Learning & Creativity

I am proud to announce that our Special Issue on Mobile Learning and Creativity with the International Journal of Blended and Mobile Learning is now online!

You can find the editorial by Ilona Buchem, Isa Jahnke & Norbert Pachler here (PDF), in which describe the rationale for this Special Issue:

“Creativity has been proclaimed as one of the so-called key 21st century skills and as the driving force of economic development in post-industrial era. With the ‘creative class’ (Florida, 2002), comprising different types of creative workers, tackling complex, societal problems ranging from solving economic problems, through creating innovative technological solutions to devising new ways of social entrepreneurship, the role of creativity will arguably increase dramatically in the years to come. Already today many of the fastest-growing jobs and emerging industries rely on workers’ creative capacity, such as the ability to think laterally, inventing new scenarios and producing novel solutions. To face this demand, both education and business have to embrace new technologies and design new ways to foster the creativity of students and workers.”

The five selected best papers we included in this Special Issue can be found here, Volume 5, Issue 3. Also, the papers can be found in the ACM digital library. Please make sure your article search is for the whole ACM guide, not just the ACM and affiliated publications.

These papers are:

  • Isa Jahnke: Teaching Practices in iPad-Classrooms: Alignment of Didactical Designs, Mobile Devices and Creativity (pages 1-16)
  • Maria Ranieri & Isabela Bruni: Empowering Creativity in Young People Through Mobile Learning: An Investigation of Creative Practices of Mobile Media Uses In and Out of School (pages 17-33)
  • Sobah Abbas Petersen, Emma Procter-Legg & Annamaria Cacchione: Creativity and Mobile Language Learning Using LingoBee (pages 34-51)
  • Steve Wright, Ben Short & Gale Parchoma: Supporting Creativity in Craft Brewing: A Case Study of iPhone Use in the Transition from Novice towards Mastery (pages 52-67)
  • Jennifer Masters: Creative Teaching and Learning Strategies for Novice Users of Mobile Technologies (pages 68-79)

Congratulations to all authors for starting the conversation with us on how mobile learning can foster creativity.

NB: We have started the discussion on mobile Learning and creativity in the TEL community a few years ago and held a workshop on Mobile Learning and Creativity at the European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning in 2012 (EC-TEL 2012 & #MLCW12) and the workshop on Computational Tools Forstering Creativity in Learning Process at the EC-TEL 2013 (EC-TEL 2013). You can find out more about the two workshops on creativity in TEL here:

  • Mobile Learning and Creativity Workshop 2012: Cloudworks.
  • Computational Tools Fostering Creativity in Learning Process 2013: CCL2013.

I believe there is yet much to explore – if you are interested in projects in cooperations related to Mobile Learning and Creativity please let me know!

Open Access E-Book on Digital Media & Diversity

Digital Media & Diversity has been the focus of my research and teaching at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. In the last three semesters students in my courses related to the Internet and the Society, including current developments and uses of Web 2.0, social media and mobile web, have been writing essays on digital media and diversity as part of their coursework. We have put some of the most interesting essays into an e-book, which has now been published under the CC-licence as an open access book.

I am very glad we can make these essays available to everyone as they present capsuled time recordings of how digital media impact our lives nowadays. The book is divided into thematic sections focusing on specific societal issues including health, politics, economy and culture.

Let me just say: A big “Thank you” to all my students who co-authored the essays and to students who worked on creating this publication!

Enjoy reading (in German)!



When is a LE a PLE?

When does a Learning Environment (LE) become a Personal Learning Environment (PLE)? This is a question that has been guiding some of my recent research on PLEs. I have take a psychological perspective on PLEs and wanted to find out when people feel that they “own” a learning environment. I have based my research on the theory of psychological ownership by Pierce et al. (2001, 2003) and conducted a number of studies showing that the scale of psychological ownership – which so far has been used to measure the feeling of ownership in organisations – can be applied to capture the feeling of ownership of learning environments. You can find more details in this publication.

Just recently, I have presented the approach of psychological ownership and selected research results at a workshop dedicated to Personal Learning Environments at University of Potsdam. The workshop was organised as part of the project eLIS, which takes a different, technology-driven approach. The contributions and discussions showed once again that there is a wide range of understandings of what PLEs may be.

My personal view is that PLEs and customisable, integrated platforms are two different things. A PLE is an environment which is constructed by an individual out of available elements. Customisable, integrated platforms are always constructed by someone else but they may be appropriated individually and become a part of someone’s PLE.  You may find more about my views on PLEs in the presentation below.


Buchem, Ilona (2012). Psychological Ownership and Personal Learning Environments. Do possession and control really matter? Proceedings of the PLE Conference 2012, 12 July 2012, Aveiro, Portugal. URL:

Pierce, J. L., Kostova, T., Dirks, K. (2001). Toward a theory of psychological ownership in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 26, 298–310 (2001)

Pierce, J. L., Kostova, T., Dirks, K. T. (2003). The state of psychological ownership:  integrating and extending a century of research. Review of General Psychology, 7, 84–107

PLE and Smart Cities

As the guest editor of the first Special Issue of eLearning Papers on Personal Learning Environments with best papers from the PLE Conference 2013: Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future / 10-12 July 2013 Berlin & Melbourne, I am glad to announce that the whole Special Issue and the single articles are available online and can be downloaded as open access under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 3.0 Unported License here:


Here is the list of articles:

Thank you to all authors and to the editorial team of eLearning Papers for swift collaboration on this Special Issue!

Diversity Conference #DivCon

The international Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2013 organised by Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. tool place this weekend – 9th/10th November 2013 – in a great location – GLS Campus - in Prenzlauer Berg quarter in Berlin. You can follow the Tweets with the hashtag: #DivCon.

The Diversity Conference was dedicated to promoting diversity in the Wikipedia community. The two key goals were:

  • Establish a sustainable dialogue with collaborators in Wikimedia Chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation and the international communities to frame the issue of diversity in the context of Wikimedia.
  • Connect, multiply and create successful initiatives for increasing gender and other types of diversity in Wikimedia.

I was honoured to open the conference with the first presentation in which I focused on the findings from our German diversity project called “Wikipedia Diversity”.

You can find my slides on SlideShare:

and the notes taken by participants in Etherpad:

Also me and the great activist Netha Hussain from India, have organised a workshop on designing diversity. It turned out to be a great, collaborative session in which all participants presented their current diversity-promoting activities, identified current problems and underrepresented groups and worked together on possible solutions. We took a broad look at diversity, encompassing not only gender issues, but also geo-diversity, language-diversity as well as occupational and educational diversity as sub-dimensions of the socio-demographic diversity of Wikipedians.

You can view the etherpad notes on this one here:

It was a great event with many dedicated and like-minded people who want to contribute to change and promote diversity. It was great to be part of the event and get inspired by the many great diversity-enhancing activities from around the globe.

I am really looking forward to new projects and collaborations in 2014!!!

Call for Papers: Personal Learning Environments

As the guest editor of the Special Issue of eLearning Papers on Personal Learning Environments,  I would like to invite you to participate in our open Call for Papers (Deadline, September 29th, 2013). eLearning Papers is an Open Access publication series and part of the portal – an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture, aiming to transform education through technology. The open Call for Papers runs parallel to the submission process of papers which were submitted to The PLE Conference 2013 Berlin/Melbourne and selected as best papers for the Special Issue. I am looking forward to all submissions and the Special Issue on Personal Learning Environments which will be published at the end of October!

For more information please visit: