Serendipity, diversity and creativity in learning

Last week I gave a keynote presentation on serendipity and diversity in learning at FH Dortmund (Germany) as part of the KomDiM project related to Competency Development in Diversity Management in Higher Education. I enjoyed dwelling on serendipity and serendipitous learning a lot. Since my first article on serendipitous learning, followed by the book chapter in 2012, there have been a number of publications related to serendipity citing my work (e.g.  Saadatmand & KumpulainenTimo van Treeck & Martin Ebner; Aladjem & Nachmias). This years’ presentation explored the links between serendipity, diversity and creativity in relation to education and learning. You will find the slides in SlideShare (in German).

It could be the right time to work on a serendipity follow-up article in 2015 🙂


Creativity and Serendipity

“Designing serendipitous learning spaces to foster creativity in mobile learning” ist the title of my submission for the Mobile Learning and Creativity Workshop 2012 (MLCW12) we organised at the EC-TEL Conference 2012 in Saarbruecken, Germany. My starting point is the concept of serendipitous creativity and serendipitous learning.

Based on the theory of play by Winnicott the key question was: How can we create the creative space of play in mobile learning?

I propose three areas of design necessary as 3 R’s of design for serendipitous learning spaces:

  • Randomness of information
  • Richness of the environment
  • Readiness of the learner

As I will be working on the full paper soon, it would be great to find out about related fields of research. Thank you for your comments!

Mobile Learning and Creativity

Mobile Learning and Creativity Workshop takes place this Wednesday, 19th September from 9:00 am till 15:00 CEST at the Seventh European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning – EC-TEL 2012 – in Saarbruecken, Germany. Two parts of the workshop will be live streamed.

Here is the link the live stream:

Here is the schedule for live streams:

  • 9:30-11:00: Pecha Kucha Event
  • 14:30-15:00: Group Presentations

You can follow all updates about the Mobile Learning and Creativity Workshop on Twitter using the hash tag#MLCW12 and in the MLCSW12 Facebook group (see quick links below).

Looking forward to meeting you in person or virtually!


Mobile Learning and Creativity

Mobile Learning and Creativity are of great interest for different reasons. Mobile media are ubiquitous and omnipresent. We use mobile devices and mobile applications everyday, to communicate, work, play, plan and orientate. Creativity is one the key skills which not only makes us feel empowered, happy and successful but basically helps us to survive in the complex world we live in. Creativity is also the driving force of social and economic development. Societies and economies have to be creative to make best of the resources we have, handle global and local challenges and pave the way for the sustainable future. We all need personal resilience and creative capacity in the challenging times bei it financial crises, climate change, civil wars, unemployment or such every day problems as conflict solving or event planning.

We have started two initiatives aiming at stimulating the discussion about how can mobile media foster creativity in global, local and personal terms. The focus is on mobile learning in formal and informal contexts. These two initiatives are the Mobile Learning and Creativity Workshop at the international EC-TEL 2012 Conference in Saarbruecken (Germany) and the Call for Papers for the Special Issue of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL) titled “Mobile Learning and Creativity: Current Concepts and Studies.”

What is the understanding of creativity underlying these two Calls? Here is what we say in the introduction to the Special Issue of IJMBL:

The understanding of creativity underlying this Special Issue is based on an open concept allowing different views and approaches, favouring process-oriented or person-cantered conceptualisations of creativity, including such notions as “connective, social activity” (Fischer, 2011) or “collaborative creativity” (Herrmann, 2009), ”making something new, something valuable or useful for a particular group” (Sternberg, 1999), “making something novel in a given context” (Gauntlett, 2011), or as “connecting with others, sharing and putting together ideas and artifacts to create something novel from the creator’s perspective in a particular context” (Jahnke, 2011). These approaches emphasize the importance of creativity for the engagement with social and physical environment, active and meaningful participation.

I am really looking forward to the discussion and ideas about how mobile media which we use everyday can    help us be creative in our everyday lives, how can we use mobile media to find creative solutions to problems, create unique pieces of work and forge the culture of innovation sensu Mark Federman:

“See – what isn’t there, what we have been conditioned to ignore because our attention has been directed elsewhere for so long. An extension – Think – what no one else can think, in other words, beyond the imposed mental restrictions that limit creative cognition. An obsolescence – Do what no one else dares to do, because the societal ground in which their actions once made sense is now obsolesced. And the fourth principle – Multiply your mind by giving it away – is the retrieval, the dominant mode of the tetrad. One could say that this fourth principle is the retrieval of simple, oldfashion charity, but in a new and incredibly powerful form.”*

We are looking forward to all creative contributions both to the:

and to the

Join us at Mobile Learning and Creativity Group on Facebook!

*Mark Federman: Creating a Culture of Innovation. Presentation to the Canada School of Public Service. URL: