Hi, I'm Riku Seppälä and this is page is my central presence on the web. I come from Finland and live in Montreal. I'm A Business Strategist And Corporate Information Systems Developer. Currently I'm Working on My Masters Thesis In Business Strategy. I'm A Firm Believer Of The Clan Of Getting Things Done. On my page you can find links to my CV and the projects I'm working on at the moment.

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    Monday, 9 March 2009

    Learning on the web and from your grandmother

    I was thinking about what the web will enable in 2100.

    More specifically, I was wondering what Facebook will do for us then. (In addition to being the worlds biggest dealer of famous people's embarrassing youth photos.)

    How illuminating would it be to read about what your grandmother was doing when she was your age? What the world looked like and what she was thinking about? You'll be able to browse her photos and videos and read her blogposts. You'll be able to walk through her whole life in videos and stories from when she was like 10. Pretty interesting? I'm sure I'd learn a lot, and it would be illuminating. I think learning from your parents and grandparents is very interesting, and the opportunities will be completely different in 20 years.

    From this I started to think about supporting learning on the web. I don't know why, but recently I've been thinking a lot about how to leverage the web in learning. I guess it's because it doesn't do much today and my friend was talking about it.

    I've been thinking I need a good web-based app where I can accumulate and share everything I learn. Or more importantly, read what other people, my friends, have learnt. As is natural, I'll need to illustrate my idea by a cartoon:

    Ok, that was really crappy. I just wanted to try it out. I apologize to anyone who stumbled upon my blog.

    The learning app I would need would be one where I could easily write and tag stuff, and then browse if any of my friends have tagged similar stuff. It would automatically create a homepage for you with all your tags. Then it would be easy to just choose some of them, and the page would show everything you've written with those tags. Does any program do this in a smart way? And the mobile interface would be very important as well. You could also incorporate text from other web sources etc.

    Then, when you learn something new, you can automatically see what you've learnt about it before and you'll be able to connect it with that. When learning stuff, you can see what your friends have written about the subject.

    I have an urgent need for this.

    For example, it would be great if I could share all the notes and mindmaps (from freemind) that I've written on the basis of the courses I've taken at the university. I'd like to be able to share that with my friends and anyone interested who just started the uni. An easy interface for that, which they could connect to without being part of a wiki or something would be really nice. I'm sure it would support the learning process when starting something new. In addition, it would be really great to be able to go back and see what you thought were the most important things about a subject when learning it. Then when you have to do it in practice, it'll probably be pretty easy to start remembering again...

    It's not like rewriting books. It would be a learning diary and also show your progress, what questions you've had and how you figured them out. I'm sure it would be a lot more pedagogical than a textbook written by an expert. It's like teaching maths. It's difficult to do for someone who understands everything, but someone who just learnt something can be wonderful at explaining it. Wikipedia is also great because of this. But the focus of wikipedia is a bit different and it can't really work this way.

    So, all you superhero web developers with time on your hands. Create the app and send me the link. Thanks!

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