Monday, July 21, 2014

Acer Aspire Switch 10 - user review

Purchased an Acer Aspire Switch 10 while in Singapore a couple of weeks ago and have been putting it to good use while away (taking notes for blog), travelling and now at work.

The Switch 10 has had mostly positive reviews as evidenced with PC advisor and collation from endgadget. It is basically a slightly more elegant version of the Asus transformer. The price of the Switch 10 is attractive. For the price of Sing$599 you get a tablet running windows 8 and an easily attachable / detachable keyboard. The tablet can be attached to the keyboard either to emulate a laptop, or back to front to provide a screen to share or show /watch content. The 10 refers to the tablet’s 10 inch screen.

The Chiclet style keyboard is not flash but does the job. It takes a few uses to become attuned to the spacing of the keys but after a few typing sessions, touch typing is ‘re’-established. With Windows 8, there is a choice of touch or keyboard interface which can be disconcerting at first. Again, an hour or so of use and routines readjusted to input text via attached keyboard but respond to all others via swipe / touch.
The tablet boots up quickly (especially when compared to the Surface RT) and the apps I usually use run well. I found migrating all the apps through the Microsoft account to be painless. Just enter details during the set up and presto, all the apps etc. from previous Surface Pro transferred across. Each app does require uploading to activate and some (like games) bring you back to the very beginning (sigh). Access to files etc. stored on the cloud via dropbox (my photo archive), onedrive (work files), kindle (100s of books) and overdrive (Christchurch llibrary books / magazines / audio books) was hassle free. One USB port provided although nowadays I tend to go on the cloud and only save essentials like presentations to USB as last resort backup if WiFI is not available. Only mini HDMI so will need an adaptor to connect to larger screen or data show type set up or install miracast.

With the keyboard, using PC based software proved to be straightforward. Having worked with a Surface Pro for some time, the migration between apps and ‘desktop’ productivity tools no longer a novelty. For work, I prefer the familiar windows environment to the iPad which I use mainly for reading and web surfing. Web surfing on the Switch 10 using IE or Chrome is also uncomplicated. When out and about, finding and connecting to Wifi  is clear cut.

The tablet comes loaded with Acer specific Apps but these can be easily shifted away from the start screen or deleted altogether. My main gripe is the provision of only one camera – facing forward – which makes it less useful for some of our tablet projects utilising the video capability of the tablet to improve practice-based learning. We have found sitting the tablet on a table with the screen facing away from the person to be videoed, provides a less intimidating prospect than if the person has to ‘talk’ to the screen. The power connection on the right side of the table is also a bit of a pain when you are using the tablet while it is charging as it tends to fall off easily.

Overall, a tidy and effective package of tablet cum keyboard if you require a light / small piece of hardware to surf the web, read books and work on documents on the go.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the science of self - book overview

Me, myself and why: searching for the science of self is a 2014 book by science writer / journalist Jennifer Ouellette.

The book uses parts of Ouelette’s biography to work through the three parts of the book. The first section Me – covers the basis for who we are.  The second part covers myself – how we perceive our self image; the last part why – explores reasons for what we are here for.
Each chapter now briefly summarised:

Prologue introduces Ouelette’s story and the rationale for writing the book.
1) What’s bred into the bone discusses the history of genetics and its contribution to (the nature part) of who we are.

           2)  Uncharted territory is a quick romp through the history of neuroscience.

           3)   Moveable types covers some of the ‘nurture’ part of what makes us who we are. The premises of psychology and personality are introduced and discussed.

       4) Three and I’m under the table uses individual’s reactions and tolerance / intolerance to alcohol to discuss why we are all individuals. There is no one exactly like me.

      5) My so-called second life raises the issue of virtual identities, the virtual me. Implications and possibilities are discussed.

      6) Born this way explores gendered identity, what makes us a man or a woman and leads into discussions on relationships between the sexes.

      7) Feed you head uses LSD to explore role of neurotransmitters  and how they work in our brains, contributing to who we are.
       
       8) Ghost in the machine looks into what is actually in our brains – our personality, our soul our all? Or not.

       9) The accidental fabulist brings things to a close with how our individual narratives, the life we lead contributes to who we are.

The book is written in a conversational style covering a wide range of topics. What it does well is introduce lay people to a range of contemporary understandings on what makes us tick.


The book has a comprehensive bibliography of over 50 pages and an index.

Friday, July 11, 2014

IAL 2014 symposium - day 2

Day 2 begins with an online keynote via Skype from Professor Andrew Ng from Coursera and Stanford University. He talks on 'the online revolution: education for everyone'. Covered characteristics of MOOCs along with advantages and social responsibility model to provide access to learning for all.  People all over the world, regardless of social status are able to access courses from 18 of the top 25 US universities and 29 of the top universities in the world. Courses usually have video lectures and computer graded quizzes. Peer grading process available to instructors. Some instructors use project-based learning. Most students (75%) have batchelors degree and most 20 - 39 years old (62%). Future is to provide on-demand content rather than have set start / finish dates.

After morning tea, the concurrent sessions begin, I attend Siddharth Jain's from Playware Studios Asia Pte. Ltd. presentation on 'learning how to play and use gamelets effectively - challenges and strategies for creating engagement in training skills development'. Introduced the free authoring tool to build virtual simulations called 3Dhive. mobile learners proposed to like multi-tasking and access to bite sized information. Preference for relevant, visual and hands-on content which is always available and cross-platform. Future learning requires creation of multi-layered short form and crowd sourced content. Every learning process feeds into another learning process with frequent reiteration of continuous content which is multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual. Need to make use of the emergent nature of content. Proposes educational games as a means to assist with current learning needs. Creation of games via commercial companies is too expensive for education. 3D hive developed to provide a solution- a free educational game development platform. emphasis on experiential learning as a means to transfer skills through guided experience, immersive environments, simulated role play etc.

Second concurrent session is with Dr. Michael Choy from the IAL who speaks on the topic of 'enabling mindfulness and learning at work: a learning design perspective'. Uses the concept of learning from errors. Proposes DELeTe (designing errors in learning and teaching) as a way to learn to difficult skills and dispositions. DELeTe not to be used in an ad hoc way but carefully deployed to promote reflective and transformative practice. Modelled an example using a case study to illustrate how DEleTe can be deployed to confront learners' with a non-standard situations.

After lunch, the first keynote of the day is from Professor Jack Whitehead (University of Cumbria) on 'improving learning and practice in the workplace through living theory'. Living education theory is a form of action research drawing on individuals' lived experiences. A way to evaluate own practice and then through reflection, draw up action plan to improve. Provided links to his website which archives a range of thesis as examples of how practitioners  from diverse backgrounds and discipline areas, use living education approach to improve professional practice.

The second keynote of the afternoon is with Professor John Field from the University of Stirling on 'building social capital for lifelong learning in the workplace'. Focus on the informal learning occurring through work. Defines social capital as the 'networks, norms and social trust that facilitate co-ordination and co-operation for mutual benefit' - Putnam. Social capital is difficult to measure. Both in formal pre-higher education and through adult learning programmes, civic engagement is highly correlated to higher participation and positive outcomes.

After afternoon tea, the last keynote of the day is with Dr. Lee Kwok Cheong , CEO of SIM Global Educational on 'CET- for IT, by IT'. Sharing the future Infocomm plans training within the ITC sector to develop agile IT professionals. As with other industries, manpower challenge is to attract, retain and upgrade. Currently still a mismatch between school preparation and work demands. Need to have a more open and accelerated professional development, not just completion of a 4 year degree. Suggest open learning platform for modularised online learning and testing. Accelerate through part-time degree integrating work projects, awards with a bond period to employer and support of company-led training and centres of attachment to provide off-job training and mentoring.

Institute of Adult Learning (IAL) Singapore Symposium - Day 1

Today and tomorrow, I am in Singapore for the IAL biannual symposium. As usual, a well organised event with over 500 participants and presenters. I presented a keynote 4 years ago and met a few people who remembered it!

Today's  symposium opened with an IAL video presenting IAL's role in Singapore's continuing education and training (CET). A welcome from IAL director, Ms. Hui Mei San followed by the Minister of Manpower- Tan Chuan-Jin's opening address. The Minister is particularly interested in deploying flexible delivery to the CET sector, to continually up-skill the workforce. Interest in deploying MOOCs and mobile learning as way to deliver to a diverse sector.

A panel presentation by 6 of the presenters to the minister (including myself) provide the minister with an overview and examples of symposium offerings.

The first keynote is from Dr. Shahid Yusuf, chief economist at George Washington University School of Business, on 'growth in small advanced economies- the role of continuing education and training'. Need to continually train to increase productivity. Covered structural transforantilnof economies, implications of growth and tech change for labour markets and efficacy measures to prepare workers in developed economies. Lower productivity across all countries will only exacerbate. Solutions suggested include good macroeconomic growth policies backed by trade, innovation and green infrastructure development policies.

Second keynote is with Dr. Matt Bower 'using augmented reality technologies to enhance classroom learning'. covers a link between AR and adult learning principles. Authentic and situated learning opportunities availed to develop flexible learning. Camera, microphone, touchpad, GPS, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope and clock and be used to create learning opportunities like instant translation from source visuals like signs. Examples of location based AR and games etc. Presented to show possibilities. Usually in the form of customised guided learning. Perfectly situated learning and ability to transcend physical barriers.

Concurrent sessions begin after lunch. I present next, so attend the session in the same room by Mr. Rahul Varma from Accenture on 'extracting  the most out of on-demand access to content and learning through digital and mobile devices, or any other technology platforms, to create new ways of learning and learning delivery' - short vimeo covers some of the material from this presentation. How people learn is changing, curated intelligence, mobile, social, video explosion, big data and visual engagement. However, might be too many options, how to choose? Philosophical approach to delivery is 'time away to learn, learning all the time' through regional hubs, network of connected classrooms and highly interactive virtual training delivered anywhere which is on demand, on the job and on the go. Uses 'learning boards' to provide democratic, personalised and fast learning solutions. Online access to personalised internal and external self-study learning including expert video,ebooks, self study training et. Boards can be shared and accessible to other learners, creating social networked learning. Boards curated by subject matter experts, in bite sized segments allowing ease in addition of new modules and refreshment. Learners are able to follow, endorse, share and comment, providing selection of most useful boards and incentivising curators to keep boards relevant.

My presentation is on the 'project surface tablet' initiatives. The first semester interim evaluations indicate some direction for institutional BYOD strategy, need for continual staff and student capability building, some pedagogical shifts possible through introduction of technology, and need to have clear pedagogical approach to inform TEL.

Then attended session with Nelson González from Declara and Susan Mann from Education Services Australia on 'learning as a service: data analytics for a new collaborative adult learning ecosystem. Rationale for addressing present skills imbalance of the present and long term skills shortage through learning ecosystems recognising formal and informal learning for not only individuals but work teams and organisations. Used scootle community, a PD platform for teachers to achieve better teaching practice across Australia. Scootle produces a range of analytics to help understand how it is being used to collaborate. The analytics also help teachers identify groups they may be interested in joining by location and interest. data minded on what is searched, what is clicked etc. Building personalised recommendations for individuals. patterns of collaboration also become better understood leading to user generated pathways being incorporated into future platform development.

Next, with Ms Lai Poi Shan on 'development of the learning facilitator competency instrument (LFCI)'. A tool used for self assessment through online rating and peer validation through feedback to video submission. 6 key and 2 sub competencies with practitioners' indicating importance of 'professional image'. elearning was perceived as least important and competency in this area judged to be low. Pros and cons of video validation evaluated with only 4 practitioners. Self assessment was safe but limited in impact for some. Videos provided sense of ownership but quality of videos uneven. Reflection better and validation found to be useful. Difficulty in bringing together all competencies into one video.

After afternoon tea, two more concurrent sessions. First up David Yao - Kydon Learning Systems Institute - on 'transformative perspectives to workforce training and learning'. Covered effects of the avalanche (volume, variety and velocity) leading to challenges of choice and analysis, globalisation (death of the tyranny of distance and increase in connectivity) and speed of technological change. Increase in complexity of work as mundane predictable work now digitised. Need to transform all aspects of teaching learning die to inter relationships between the aspects of people, technology, organisation, curriculum and content.

Last session of the day with Raja Chowdhury from Lithanhall Academy with 'transforming challenges into opportunities: a case study on just in time cooperative education'. Advocates learning needs to be open, engaging, collaborative, engaging and non-administrative. Cooperative learning brings together traditional and work integrated learning. Place and train programme used as example. Programme retrains business or IT to combine both into enterprise managers. Study nights and weekend and work in the day.

Networking drinks and dinner close a busy day.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Who am I? and if so, how many? – book overview

Who am I? and if so, how many? A philosophical journey by R.D. Precht originally written in German and translated by Shelley Frisch. A 2011 edition printed by Scribe Publications and borrowed from the local library.

In the introduction, Precht writes about how his initial introduction to the study of philosophy was stymied by the dry and difficult to access ‘text books’ on philosophy. These text books largely took an historical journey, meandering through the various philosophers. His book uses a thematic approach, bringing up one of more philosopher/ neuroscientist / palaeontologist as the need arises.

After the introduction, the book has three sections – What can I know? What should I do? And What can I hope for?

The first section, covers the foundations of philosophical thought in 9 chapters. These 9 chapters provide a concise but also critical overview. Precht does not just report various philosophers’ approaches but updates and brings in viewpoints from contemporary scholarship. In particular, findings in neuroscience, palaeontology and psychology either support, replace or introduce new ways of looking at the world. The work of Nietzche, with the call to view humans as not a ‘superman’ but an ape with evolved capabilities opens this section. Human evolutionary journey and the workings of the brain are summarised in the next 2 chapters. The work of Descartes ( of - I think therefore I am) leads the discussion on dualism and its effects. Then Mach’s work on ‘who is ‘I’’ discussed. Freud’s concepts are debunked followed by chapters discussing the frailities of our memory system, what are feelings, subconscious and language (Wittenstein’s contributions to philosophical thought on language’s role).

The second section has 15 chapters discussion various moral dilemmas posed by living. Discussed are various questions of why do we need others? Should we help others and should we be ‘good’ and does it ‘pay’ to be good? Is there morality in the brain and if so, why does it sometimes not reign in behaviour that leads to the detriment of others? Discussion also on should we become vegetarians? Allow euthanasia, cloning, designer babies? Pros and cons are introduced with the challenge to the reader to find their place in the continuum and pose their own substantiations.

The last section of 9 chapters provides some direction for the confused. Discussion on ‘what can I hope for’ discuss a range of big questions including: Does god exist? Does nature have meaning? What is love? What is freedom (of choice and free will)? Do we need possessions? What is just? What is a happy life? Can happiness be learnt? And Does life have meaning? All very weighty questions we mull over now and then when we lift our heads up from our busy lives. In short, life and the meaning of life is what we make of it. As individuals, we are only here for a short time. We can make that time miserable, or happy. Live in harmony with others or not. Mostly, we have a choice (sort of , within the bounds of our hereditary and social means) and each needs to make the best of what life throws at you.

I found the book to be readable, using contemporary examples and analogies to bring to life, the concepts of various philosophers. Each chapter covers the ground of various philosophical questions, posing more questions at the end for the reader to contemplate and reach their own conclusion. The book is never preachy but provides the basis of philosophical thought as perceived, argued and sometime empirically proven but various scholars. Each chapter may be read separately but there is some merit in working through the book as it is laid out so your philosophical journey is better scaffolded. Overall, the book provides a good introduction to the reader interested in gaining a better understanding of Western philosophical thought who does not just want to be ‘talked at’. The book encourages one to question one’s belief system, to select the ways individuals may become contributors instead of takers, and to live a ‘good’ life.


Notes from each chapter provide resources to follow up on. There is an index but no reference list as such.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tell tale brain - book overview

Tell tale brain

Over the recent long weekend, worked through a 2011book by V. Ramachandran called – the telltale brain: unlocking the mystery of human nature.

The book is written in a conversational style and peppered with the author’s wry humour and story telling. Some of the case studies presented are from Ramachandran’s work with patients who have had neurological trauma or illnesses. Therefore, the book mirrors some of the techniques used in other books and over viewed in previous blogs.

Tell-tale brain consists of an introduction and nine chapters. Each chapter deals with an aspect of brain function and provide laypersons’ guides to contemporary understanding of neurophysiology and neuropsychology.

The introduction details the rationale for Ramachandran’s writing approach. In short, a need for a lay person’s book that does not ‘talk down’ to the intelligent reader but has sufficient substance to intrigue and inform.

Chapter 1 covers an aspect forming the foundation of Ramachandran’s work on ‘phantom limbs’. Neurological explanations for why some amputees still ‘feel’ their detached limb with a plausible reason for sensory regions to still be networked and accessible when parts of the brain in proximity to the detached bit are activated.

The second chapter summarise current understandings on seeing and knowing. Providing for an extension of the concepts discussed in the previous chapter.

Chapters 3 and 5 cover the interesting phenomenon of ‘synesthesia’, the ability to ‘see’ in colour or feel or taste numbers or music and the challenges presented by autism. A good overview, especially on autism and why and how savants develop.

The fourth chapter discusses the ‘neurons that shaped civilisation’. A precursor to the next chapter on language. Discusses how neurons have evolved to allow for social interactions. Therefore, takes on an evolutionary psychology / neurological stance. Importance of 'mirror neurons' and their role in human empathic processes discussed.

Chapter 6 delves into the evolution of language. How the brain works to allow us to learn languages. What is innate in us to allow language to develop and the role and contribution of ‘nurture’ – the socio-cultural dimension.

The topic of aesthetics is covered in chapter 7 with the authors’ ‘universal laws’ of how humans gauge ‘beauty’ and other forms of qualia discussed in chapter 8. Perhaps the weakest chapters in the book as Ramachandran argues for the neurological roots of art appreciation and our need to find  balance and patterns to deal with the complex audio visual sensory world we live in.

The last (and important) chapter provides food for thought on the topic of ‘how introspection evolved’. A summary on edge makes for good reading plus extensive summary and discussion from this blog on this last chapter 'an ape with a soul'. 

A glossary is provided along with notes pertinent to each chapter along with a bibliography and index.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Technology-enhanced professional learning - book overview

An brief overview of ' Technology-enhanced professional learning: Processes, practices and tools edited by Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan and published 2014 by Routledge.

16 chapters including introduction and commentary on each of the 3 sections – work practices, learning processes and digital technologies.

Relevant chapters to current project surface tablet work now summarised.
1)      The introduction by the two editors lays out the concept of technology-enhanced professional learning (TEPL). The rational for the book (i.e. there is very little research in the area of TEPL) is presented. TEPL has influences from ‘new’ work practices (organisational learning, distributed work), learning processes (expansive learning, networked learning, development of expertise, mimetic learning) and technologies that can be leveraged to enhance TEPL (semantic web, learning analytics, collaborative technologies, simulations and games). Brief overview of each of the chapters is also provided.

Section 1 – work practices has 4 chapters.
2)      Julie Clow writes on ‘work practices to support continuous organisational learning’. The historical and social movement of work from craft to manufacturing to ‘knowledge’ work is summarised. Current work requires the creation of rapid learning cycles for workers to learn and move on to next project. Workers are now required to ask questions, think big, work cooperative on complex problems in ever evolving teams. Learning and development within organisations now need to keep up with the pace of change. Crowd sourcing now used within and outside organisation to bring in training / development expertise as and when required. In-house programmes to share organisational learning also now a requirement, an example is the use by Google engineers of Snippets, to publish weekly updates of progress and learning on various projects.

3)      ‘Distributed work: working and learning at a distance’ by Matthew J. Bietz covers the move by organisations towards employing people, working on collaborative projects, who are separated geographically or temporally. Challenges include not only distance effects exampled by lack of ‘water cooler type serendipitous discussions’ but also the need to help employees work in diverse social and cultural contexts. Learning and development for distributed work is challenged to assist workers in accessing the organisations’ ‘tacit’ knowledge and meeting diversity of learning needs.

4)      The relatively new form of work organisation ‘crowd work and collective learning’ is discussed by Jeffrey V. Nickerson. Here, large numbers of usually unconnected people are brought together to complete objective/s. Relationships between worker and organisation may be fleeting and workers find it difficult to learn new skills when they are focused on specialised tasks. Crowd work sourcing sites (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk) and crowd work practices are introduced and discussed. Future direction includes possibility of moving crowd work from individuals on to groups, increasing the complexity of managing organisational TEPL expectations and goals for crowd sourced workers.

5)      A commentary on the three chapters on work practice is provided by Sebastian Fiedler. The emergence of ‘new forms’ of organisational work structures require review of existing ways workplace learning and development are enacted. This chapter evaluates each of the chapters in the section. The caution is not to apply generic approaches to TEPL but to study each context and develop appropriate TEPL responses.

Section 2 has 5 chapters on learning processes

6)      ‘new forms of transformative agency’ by Ritva Engestrom covers the contribution of cultural-historical activity theory (CHATs) on understanding work and learning at work. The chapter provides a good summary of CHATs. A Finnish case study is provided as an example and the model derived is explained.

7)      Chapter on ‘expertise development through schooling and work’ by Henry Boshuizen and Margje van de Wiel summarises studies on expertise development. An overview of the development of expertise is provided with emphasis on deliberate practice and self-regulated learning and performance.

8)      Stephen Billett’s chapter covers ‘mimetic learning in the circumstances of professional learning’. I have summarised this chapter in an earlier blog.

9)      ‘Networked professional learning’ is presented by Peter Sloep. Two fictitious companies are used to describe various aspects of networked learning. Then, there is discussion of social networking tools (Linkedin, mendeley, research gate) plus usual suspects Twitter, Scoop.it, Storify, delicious, google docs etc. and customised tools developed by the author – ASA (automous tutor locator) and COCOON (a group assembly instrument).

10)   The final chapter in section 2, by Terje Valjataga and Sebastian Fiedler is a commentary on ‘learning processes’ chapters. The diversity of the 4 chapters is acknowledged and each chapter is critiqued in relation to the others. Again, the recommendation is that TEPL needs further study to bring sense into how to best deploy TEPL across diverse sectors with complex learning processes.

The last section digital technologies has 5 chapters and is perhaps the weakest in the book as some are case studies and others based on preliminary studies. This could be due to the emergent nature of TPEL and the volume of empirical work still required to identify workable processes and approaches.

11)   ‘Orchestrating collaboration and community technologies for individuals and organisational learning’ by Tobias Ley, Kairit Tammets and Stephenie Lindstaedt. Communities of practice model used to develop organisation learning systems to encourage collaboration within and across and beyond organisations. Introduces the internal organisation APOSLDE system which generates a top down strategy. The system generates ‘individualised’ or customised learning programmes, based on individual’s expertise level to learn processes required to complete their work tasks. An ‘external’ bottom up cross-organisational system intelLEO also described. Both compared and reviewed.

12)   A chapter on the ‘social sematic web and workplace learning’ by Melody Siadaty, Jelena Jovanovic and Dragon Gasevic provides introduction to this form of learning technology.the pedagogical framing strategy is discussed along with affordances and limitations within workplace learning contexts for leveraging the social sematic web.

13)   ‘Learning analytics and their application in TPEL’ is by Bettina Berendt, Riina Vuorikari, Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan. Defines different ways learning analytics assist the TPEL process and provides a case study to illustrate concepts. A good introductory chapter to learning analytics.

14)   Heide Lukosh, Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan write on ‘simulation games for workplace learning’. Provides overview of state of play in using simulation games to assist workplace learning and 2 case studies used to example utilisation.

15)   A commentary on the 4 chapters in the digital technologies section written by Colin Milligan. Identifies commonalities within the 4 chapters in this section. These are: training is now more difficult and it does not suit needs of modern worker; learning is learner-led (perhaps organisational-led as well); tools used are personal and social; and technology increasingly links peoples’ work and learning.

The concluding chapter by the editors discusses the challenges and future directions of TEPL.

The book provides a good overview of new organisational practices and efforts to develop TEPL appropriate for the diverse contexts. Many questions are raised and some suggestions to assist are discussed and critiqued. As always, food for thought.

Monday, June 09, 2014

mimetic learning

Book chapter from Technology-enhanced professional learning a 2014 Routledge book edited by Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan.

I came across this book through my yearly browse of Professor Stephen Billett’s publication site. Much of Billett’s chapter on mimetic learning is available via the google books site for the edited book.

Billett’s chapter summarises the nature of mimetic learning and its relevance to professional practice. The basic principles of mimetic practice are discussed with respect to ‘professional learning’ i.e. ongoing learning for work and practice.


Mimetic learning can be explained through nativist approaches alluding to the evolutionary, physiological and neurosensory foundations for animal learning. Empiricist approaches suggest human learning to arise from experiences with individuals constructing concepts and responses and learning through social interactions. 

Billett favours the empiricist explanation as studies in anthropology, developmental science, cognitive and neuroscience and cultural psychology support current explanations.

Mimetic professional learning is discussed with both advantages and limits and perils.
The four specific suggestions for using technology to enhance professional learning include:
·         Authentic instances of practice need to be provided;
·         Engagement with practice needs to be progressive;
·         Engagement in workplace practice important to observe, hear and sense workplace learning requirements;
·         Practice requires time.