Ubiquitous Personal Computing for Learning and Creativity

I am interested in encouraging and enabling learning and creative thinking in ubiquitous personal computing environments. My research is very often set in the context of work, i.e. my goal is to foster work-related learning and creativity.

  1. Why learning?
    Learning is – nearly per definition – part of knowledge work (Kelloway & Barlin 2001). As routine tasks become more and more automated, the percentage of knowledge work in our jobs rises – and this demands (lifelong) learning.
  2. Why creativity?
    Creative thinking plays a role in knowledge work when new approaches to complex situations need to be “imagined” and tried out. The outcomes need to be reflected upon and the initial approach refined for the future (Resnick 2007). Such “little-c creativity […] – creativity within one’s personal life” (Resnick 2007) is also increasingly expected from educated workers in the 21st century Europe (OECD 2008). Creative thinking plays a role both in action, in order to solve an immediate problem (see Isaksen & Treffinger 2004 for creative problem solving), and after action[1] (Resnick 2007).

    [1] Note that from another viewpoint, “after action” means “before the next action” – if no similar action is expected to follow in the future, than learning after action from the work experience does not make sense with a view on the future.

  3. Why ubiquitous personal computing?
    Ubiquitous personal computing technologies stand in the centre of the interaction concepts I investigate as gateway for people who want, need, have to learn. The reason is simply their prevalence as personal computing devices. What changes with ubiquitous personal computing when compared to personal computing? The obvious: People can (work), learn, and be creative anywhere and anytime. They can – in the reverse direction – also be distracted anywhere and anytime.
  • Isaksen S. G. and Treffinger D. J. (2004), Celebrating 50 years of Reflective Practice: Versions of Creative Problem Solving. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 38: 75–101.
  • Kelloway, E. K. & Barling, J. Knowledge Work as Organizational Behaviour International Journal of Management Reviews, 2000, 2, 287-30.
  • OECD (2008). 21st Century Learning: Research, Innovation and Policy Directions from recent OECD analyses. In: OECD/CERI International Conference on Learning in the 21st Century: Research, Innovation and Policy, Paris, May 2008.
  • Resnick, M. (2007). All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten. ACM Creativity & Cognition Conference, Washington DC, June 2007.

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