As part of the on-going E-Conference on Agricultural Learning Repositories, I interviewed Dr. Ambjörn Naeve who is head of the Knowledge Management Research Group (KMR) at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.
I started by asking him about the work he has been doing. He got involved in the field of mathematics and learning because he got "frustrated by the bad quality of mathematics teachings". He defines a mathematician as a "person who thinks for one day to avoid computing for one hour". He got involved in technology enhanced learning around 12 years ago with his project on "The Garden of Knowledge" (GoK). You can also browse the GoK Repository using Confolio.
He talked extensively about the asynchronous vs. synchronous public discourse. He also talked about his idea of moving learning from "teacher and curricula-centric" approach to "learner and interest-oriented" approach. This, he says, requires a paradigm shift from "Knowledge Push to Knowledge Pull" teaching methods.
He outlined the enablers for online learning as: Semantic Web, Internet, Metadata and Mappings between Ontologies. He iterated that there is always a need to know the target groups, their context and purpose when designing Learning Repositories. And finally, he said the obstacles to setting up good repositories were mainly social rather than technical. There is always lack of agreement between people and the issues of control and IPR that need to be resolved.
Listen to the full interview.