T is for Topi

Openness. Badges. Digital Portfolios. Personal learning spaces. Learning Analytics.

Can anyone blend these features together, offering educators and learners and space where they can collaborate, where their privacy is respected, where a digital narrative of learning is really useful for students?

Just before leaving for Singapore where Slush will be taking place next week, Topi Litmanen tells us more about ClanEd – what it is, how it can be used by educators and what is coming soon to this transformative elearning tool.

Thank you Topi for your time and inspiring change from Helsinki!

Twitter  – Claned


There is a small glitch in the connection which I did not edit as I prefer simple streamlining –  apologies! 


R is for Rotana

Leadership, dealing with uncertainties, engaging with the flow, learning with interactions.

Approaches for understanding and adaptation.

How does one manage complexity in times of intense change?

Rotana Ty explains how nemetics researches patterns of trends, ways of learning and collectivist learning.





Thank you Rotana for your time and for explaining more about Nemetics !

If you would like to know more, you can find Rotana here and here .

A Blending of Worlds

small_world_by_koyamori-d5cu3thI dream of bamboo and swaying coconut trees. And I dream of rivers to cross, bridges to walk, fields to run through.

I dream.

A world both endlessly beautiful and rich to explore, a world shrinking as we speak. Some worlds have no borders, no passport controls, no visa demands. Some worlds are worlds into and unto themselves.

There are those who speak of these worlds as networks, emerging trends, movements of learning and connecting. Nemetics becomes a password for entry to this world of connections, explorations and lack of systems.

Or is there?

From a fondness of quiet tea houses to the pleasure of observing masses in movement,Rotana Ty,  explores these worlds of  complexity and collaboration.

Rotana will join me here to explain how this world of nemetics flows and how it relates to changes in our worlds today.




The world spins and spins and spins. Worlds blend.

What lies within?

What changes will you find?

A Whale in the Forest from WDCS GERMANY on Vimeo.

Image: A Small World

Changes for Better and Worse

When I began this selection of talks, I had hoped to include an interview every week. However, that later turned into a shadow of a wish, for time is limited and professional demands escape the limitations of 24 hours, for both myself and interviewees. Life happens.

At times there also have been technical glitches, hence participants and myself have had no choice but to postpone a conversation in order to offer a better quality to readers and listeners of Mind Mirrors.  Nevertheless, Mind Mirrors will soon be presenting some of the most dynamic and provocative change players to share their reflections and minds.

Since  Mind Mirrors began, there also have been many changes in the online world. As many other social changes, some have been for the better, while others are definitely for the worse. Being an optimist by nature, I would like to share this infographic with you, hoping that its reflections may soon change again but for the better.

Enemies Of The Internet

There have been other changes as well – changes which affect us all.

Join me here as issues regarding changes in Social Media, Teacher Training and Second Life, among others, will be discussed.

S is for Stephen

From research infrastructures ,reflections on the changes in the nature of research practices, to the significance of open access and how Connectivism occurs in classrooms, Stephen Downes explains all  – and more – with clarity, enthusiasm and joyous energy.

Thank you Stephen for your time, participation – and inspirational explanations!

Connecting Snowflakes

The golden morning light poured warmly into the room. He watched her quietly as she moved,  shifting and sorting the  rhythm of the day about to unravel. Beginnings were always important to her. Each new dawn, a new revival of hope, of expectation, a welcoming of wonders on the verge.

“Did you sleep well?”, he asked. She smiled. Dreams too belonged in the sunshine as much as to the stars at night.

“You know…..each dream is as unique as a snowflake. Did you know that?”, continued the soft voice.

And so she turned away from the window and morning routine of preparation, replying with a smile.

“You are my snowflake.”

 Their eyes connected with shared understanding.

Connections. That is what one does in life – connect with others, with nature, with one’s surroundings. Even if one chooses to reject an environment,  an individual, a fact –  a theory even- there has to be the initial acknowledgement, some degree of perception and understanding, then the realization there is in fact no will  of connection, no desire to connect, no purpose in connecting.

Connections. Because the synergies of life connect.

Naturally. Digitally. Collectively.

 Now imagine the synergy of snowflake whirls, flying flocks of unique, collective knowledge – all explained in ways that one can make sense of.

My next guest needs no long introduction. He is a master in connecting, an expert with words, a specialist in collective connections.

Stephen Downes is a Senior Researcher for the National Research Council of Canada and is well known for being a strong supporter of Free Learning. Among the many publications, presentations and activities that Stephen contributes to and is involved in, his  OLDailyStephen’s Web, and Half an Hour are widely read and referred to.

Here you can find further references of his work – but please note, these are merely a very small reflection of Stephen’s contributions towards educational and social studies.

Currently running the MOOC #change11 (Change: Education, Learning and Technology) with George Siemens and Dave Cormier, Stephen is widely associated with Connectivism and change in all its shades and variations.

Join me here as Stephen discusses change in the research process, what scientific value there may be in open access,  how Connectivism is relevant to educators of all levels  – and more.

What flocks of snowflakes will Stephen release to the open?

Ice to Fire

Long, long time ago there was a world of white. A world of burning ice,  each drifting snowflake holding the promise of a story, the scent of adventure, the delicate delight of perfection. My world was simple, predictable; each season showing off its royal colours and social motions. Hockey in winter, baseball in summer. Spicy pumpkin pies in autumn, bright, head-turning tulips in spring.

 Long, long times ago.

Storylines are not always simple to explain to others. Where does one begin? And why not go further back, reaching out  in time, digging into roots, roots of myths and mysteries,  roots of fire and ice,  criss-crossing the lines of passage and transformation?

My world has been molded by ice and fire. From Northern winter landscapes, criss-crossing Southern savanas and Eastern seas, a world speckled with stories and passages of rite.

So, where does one begin?

And what difference will it all make?

The flame no longer burns me. The flame no longer eludes me.

For I have become all that I have seen and been. Fire, ice, sand and sea. All are me. A criss-cross balance of seascapes, seasons of change, fragile frontiers of blended worlds.

My next guest share similar stories to mine. My next guest comes from a land of  ice and stretching winter whites.

Join me here as James Buckingham reflects on changes in education and specific implications for the field of English Language Teaching.

James describes himself to most people as an Ed Tech Specialist and eclectic student with a voracious appetite for learning that’s well fed by the internet. Jim has post graduate degrees in both Education Technology and Adult Education. However his more important personal story has led him to being bashed and bruised in ice hockey, becoming an avid listener of classical music, relishing the challenges of understanding contemporary art, meditating before the birds and sun have arisen, and welcoming the various tastes from kitchens around the world. He continues to add to the list by choosing to travel down narrow dusty roads rather than paved ones.







The above Wordle was made with extracts from Why You Need to Use Storytelling for Learning