Tag Archives: learning


school is not a synonym of education

Week 33, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

Mónica, a friend of mine in México, sent me a link to a documentary produced by reevo.org which I highly recommend to watch. Specially for those who are interested in learning.

For me the documentary made resonance to my research in HCG. I confess this research has been my life, my dream. Maybe for that reason, when I watched the documentary some emotional tears escape, because it is full of truth:

  • Learning is fun and enjoyable.
  • We can do incredible things by enriching individual’s dreams, and desire to live.

There is much more, but my personal summary is:
Life is learning and learning is life,
and we can enjoy A LOT while we are alive! 🙂


times change: mobile phone and my personal data

Week 24, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

When I was at the serious game workshop at Nordic DiGRA I realized I lost my mobile phone. I wanted to record something from the workshop and I could not to do it because I did not find my phone. Then, I started to think when and where I used my phone the last time and I realized:  I left my phone on the train. Auch!

My brain then started to spin in reference of what I have lost. Firstly came to my mind a couple of interviews I haven’t backed up, some new photos. The rest of the information I could recover (notes, phone numbers and most of the photos) because I had backed up, but still I feel uncomfortable thinking that an unknown person will have access to my personal data. Finally came the idea of the money, an expense not planned to have.

In the first workshop’s break I ran to the VR office and asked for help.  They offered me a phone number for lost items  (löytötavaratoimisto) but remember in Finland there are not public phones…..  Another approach was that a friend call to my mobile phone and if someone answers maybe I could recover it. However, since I have my friends’ phone numbers recorded in my mobile phone, I have no idea of their phone numbers by heart and I do not have a phone book with me neither. Of course digital backup of my phone is not traveling with me.

My solution: email. I still have my laptop with me. So, next was to get Internet access and I emailed Mikko and he helped me. Later I got an email from Eeva, because the personnel from the VR called her about my phone. Apparently, I will recover my phone!!! I am impressed about it!!! 🙂 and I am looking forward to have it back 😉

However the event let me thinking about my personal data. I have hear – read – discuss about security issues of personal data in reference to social networks. But now my thoughts go to a more simple device, just my mobile phone.  I do not connect to internet and social networks on my phone then that part is “safe” but still there is certain data exposure on my phone just because I use a  smartphone  beyond calling and sending SMS.

Things are changing fast. In the late 90’s I wouldn’t have imagine myself looking for my mobile phone via email. Still public phone boxes were surround me. I could call friends easily, with or without mobile phones because I had a physical agenda and some numbers I knew them by heart. My mobile phone did not have much extra information about myself.

Now the situation has changed and I haven’t though thoughtfully on this. I start to wonder if actually I am letting myself to be vulnerable by depending blindly on my mobile phone. Perhaps as times change it might be wise to think a bit about this and also change. The main question is how  and what do I want to change about this topic?




Photo source here


summary of april

Week 17, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

Much has happened since the last time I posted. Five highlights will give an idea of life events:

  •  I read and graded over 250 essays =  WOW!

A big work and huge learning experience too, I confess.

  • I got my first pre-examinator’s feedback

Even Erkki called me from Mozambique to help me to digest the good news. Honestly, still I cannot believe how good the feedback is.  WOW!

  •  I was at the role-playing seminar and a huge nordic role-playing event.

That was a learning experience, and as always when I am with people from game studies I finish EXHAUSTED!

  •  I got sick

Started in Wednesday April 11th  :/  Last week was the worst week in a long time: constant fever, coughing, headaches, running nose, lost my voice, sore throat.   Yes, I am in quarantine. *sight*

  • We got the winners from the world-wide short film competition

Invite you to see the videos 😉


and, there is more but I must start writing proper posts again.

Meanwhile, focusing on getting well!


árbol de la vida

árbol de la vida

Source photo: árbol de la vida (tree of life) 

things to remember: work – love – play

week 6 of 2011
Joensuu, Finland

In this week, my main activity was writing, writing…. more writing. Afterward a little bit of reading to be able to think then I can continue  writing.

Also I prepared myself, some how, for the very busy following weeks.

My outstanding activity on this week was: I bake a delicious cake for a birthday party. I rarely bake cakes since I am in Finland. I mainly “survive” in the kitchen. In addition, an important event of this week was that my dad made it to his birthday 🙂

Hence, this week reminded me that even that I am passionate with what I do, there are other very important things that I also love to do which I have to find time for. To have a balance life. I need to play more !!!. Regarding a balance life, the best talk related to it is from Doris Kearns Goodwin on learning from past presidents please enjoy it:

beyond games…

My research is in Hypercontextualized Games (HCG), and this blog is mainly finding myself within my research that, in itself, is a challenge. But after the last two weeks, I saw how my PhD education is influencing my daily perception of things…. let me explain.

So far I have lived in four complete different countries, and visited over 25 more (I am a lucky one, I know). I refer to live in a country when I have been a minimum of two years without interruptions in the same city. Two years, in my opinion, gives an opportunity to start to merge with the host culture. Actually it is needed more time to merge, but in two years one goes beyond the novelty of the first year to find oneself in a context that is not “new” anymore in the second year.

Now, I do not consider myself an ethnographer, because I get involved with my new country, with the locals, I make empathy with them, I make friends, I join their culture, I make roots.  I do not compare my host country in anyway with a previous one, because each place is unique. Each of my countries is part of me. I am not in a country to analyze it with an “objective” reference point or research agenda; instead I live my new country and I merge with its culture as much as I can. It is my country too, I grow with it. Nevertheless, I admit that to have roots in different locations allow me to perceive similar things from different perspectives. I give a value to it, and for me that is a gift of discovery.

Perhaps due to my recent research training, in the last weeks while I was in Mexico (due to an emergency), and after 10 continuous years to be out of the country, I documented events and things with an ethnographic influence. One example is a reflection of the ICT system in the Mexican health system.

In México we have very good medical doctors. For example the hospital I was “working” the first days of November,  Hospital Juarez carries different types of medical research. The hospital has an ICT infrastructure. From my perspective, according of what I notice,  it is used for charging the fees and host the website. The clinical data is handle on paper (hard copy). Perhaps, under an official visit at a directive level I would have seen a wider use of the ICT, but I was a patient’s family member, hence my perception of the ICT system is from the bottom-up.

Hospital's shelves of clinic histories

Hospital's shelves of clinic histories

On Dec 11, while waiting for some medical information, I confirm that ICT by itself will not help to develop a person, or organization or a country. I waited for HOURS (literal), the secretary did not have a PC and all her work was convey on paper. At some moment she decided that it was time for a break and left a note that she will be out for an hour for breakfast. Then, I started to wonder (I had enough time for that) how a PC would have changed that behavior? How ICT would help to improve the situation? (you know be involved in a research group of Educational Technologies with strong influence in ICT4D, well invite you to think in this stuff)

Secretary desk. It says: Lunch break from 10 to 11

Secretary desk. It says: Lunch break from 10 to 11

Honestly, the ICT alone would not have changed a thing. I can imagine the  same desk with a PC instead of her notebooks and still making me wait per hours, and still a note saying: “breakfast time from 10 to 11”.  Perhaps the paper work system could be done more efficiently if it is in a digital format, assuming that the program matches and hopefully improves the actual administrative system.  Hence, a probability to reduce waiting time could be present. But honestly, it is needed to improve the attitude of the public servants even before the ICT implementation. Increasing their education and attitude before, during and after an ICT implementation is mandatory.

Still, I am thankful with this specific secretary,  because thanks to her my issue was solved on the same day instead to wait several days. Even though I was only picking up one paper which should have been ready even a day earlier.

However the hours of waiting made me realized and confirm that the technology by itself will not trigger “development”, “innovation”  or change things anywhere. It does not matter if it is Mexico, USA, Finland or Timbuktu. From my perspective, to promote development, innovation and changes we need to observe and understand things from two perspectives: from a top-bottom level AND from the bottom-up level too. The task is not simple.

One step at the time!