The Digital Turn: How the Internet Transforms Our Existence

How can we survive in a world of smartphones, tablets, Facebook and Twitter? In about 20 years time a digital revolution has taken place. Almos without noticing it, we are causing major changes in our living environment. CELSTEC’s Wim Westera, professor Digital Media, describes in his book ‘The Digital Turn: How the Internet Transforms Our Existence’ the consequences of the digital revolution for man and society.

Friends and profiles

Is our 100.000 year old brain capable to adampt itself to these new circumstances? What’s the meaning of these developments for concepts like friendship, identity, closeness, cognition? What is the worth of knowledge if all the answers can be found with a mouse click? In his book The Digital Turn Westera goes into these and other questions. The book offers an accessible means for attaining a better understanding of the ways digital media influence our existence. It is a compact guide to becoming media literate and to preparing us for the advanced digital services that are yet to come. This makes the book an indispensable aid for every twenty-first century citizens.


Wim Westera is professor Digital Media at CELSTEC. He graduated as a natural scientist at Utrecht University. After a stay with the BBC he made dozens of films and television programmes. At the Open Universiteit he specialized in educative simulations, multimedia, e-learning and serious gaming.

Test yourself to improve your grades

a miniconference on the testing effect takes place in Eindhoven. The title of the conference is ‘Test jezelf en haal een hoger cijfer: Over de rol van het geheugen bij effectief leren’ (Test yourself to improve your grades. On the role of the memory in effective learning). 

The miniconference is organized by the MSc Learning Sciences for students learning sciences, educational researchers and educational designers.  The language of the meeting is Dutch.

Learn more effectively 

The workings of our memory is decisive for choosing and developing effective learning strategies. Research shows that if you retrieve information from your memory, as you do when making a test, it ensures that in the long term you remember this information better than the information you only have studied. This is what is called the ‘testing effect’. For educational practice this means that tests shouldn’t be used just as an assessment tool, but also as a learning strategy. 

Memory and educational practice

The aim of this miniconference is to introduce participants to the different insights the literature on memory has to offer and their application in education. The participants are made to look critically to the translation of memory principles into educational practice. For this miniconference the MSc programma Learning Sciences collaborates with the research group Cognition and Learning of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.


The conference takes place in study centre Eindhoven of the Open Universiteit on 9 March 2012. The day starts at 10.00 hours and at 16.15 hours. 

Using Games for Education in Research Methods (CHERMUG)

Together with 4 university partners and of one of UK’s leading game companies the Open Universiteit (CELSTEC) participates in the CHERMUG project which aims to develop a game to support students developing an understanding of research methods and statistics. The target audience is bachelor students nursing and social sciences. The kick-off meeting took place on 30 -31 January 2012 in Glasgow.  

CHERMUG project

Nowadays logical reasoning and critical thinking skills are key competences in developing a more sophisticated understanding of the world and the difficult  problems we face in the 21st century. The CHERMUG project goes very well with the EU 2020 strategy “New skills for new jobs” and the general priorities of LLP (Lifelong Learning Programme) that funds the CHERMUG project. The LLP programme aims to promote acquiring key competences during education. 

Using games to teach methods and statistics fits with the acquisition of:

  • Mathematical and basic competences in science and technology
  • Digital competences
  • Learning to learn.

The Workplan and the expected output

CHERMUG is a two year project. The first year will start with the design based on a stakeholder and user requirements analysis, and a cognitive task analysis of methods and statistics in the domain of nursing and will end with the development of the game. The second year will focus on the evaluation of the game including supportive measures such as teacher training. Moreover, exploitation opportunities will be investigated.

The project will deliver a website with for registered members access to:

  • a game with which students can develop among other things an understanding of how to formulate hypothesis, select suitable methods of data analysis, identify relevant ethical issues, and interpret and discus the findings;
  • teacher training materials including best practice guides.

The game and the supporting materials will be available in English, Spanish, Dutch, Romanian, Finnish, French and German.


The project partners in the CHERMUG project are:

If you are interested to keep informed and/or if you are interested in supporting the implementation of the project e.g. by participating in the evaluation, please contact Peter van Rosmalen. We will inform you as soon as the project website is available and/or when we start to recruit participants to support the evaluation.

Online masterclass: Learning in networks

People do not only learn in the class room or at school. They also learn from the people around them, members of their social network who they ‘use’ when they have a specific learning need. From 7 till 14 March 2012 the theme of the online masterclass is learning in networks. The language of the masterclass is Dutch.

Prof. dr. Peter Sloep, programme leader of the  Learning Networks programme of the Open Universiteit, gives the masterclass. He will go into 

  • the position of this form of learning in the landscape of learning and teaching
  • the target groups for which networked learning is eminently suited
  • the ways in which networked learners can be supported  (this subject touches the theme of an earlier masterclass on the role of online communities)
  • Apart from the scientific insights on networked learning, the masterclass will also pose the question: How to use networked learning in your own educational situation or for your own learning? 

Twee live sessies

Participants  can follow the masterclass online on a  pc. It starts Monday 7 March with the opening of a forum for discussion with the expert and studying the information sources. Friday  9 March from 15.00 to 16.00 hours the live session with the expert takes place. Tuesday 13 March a second live session takes place. During this session scientific papers are presented. The discussion and chat on the forum continue till the end of the masterclass on Friday 14 Marche 18.00 hours.OpenU

The masterclass forms part of a series of online masterclasses on educational and learning sciences that the Open Universiteit organises on OpenU. The masterclasses take place every three weeks. For the time being participations free of charge.