I’ve recently returned from my first trip to Asia. I was invited to give a keynote address at an annual conference, the International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE), about my research on creativity and learning. The conference was held outside Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, in the completely new and modern suburb of Putrajaya, a planned community created by the national government to relocate their administrative offices out of downtown Kuala Lumpur. Almost 300 international scholars presented their research at the Marriott hotel.
I was impressed with the caliber of the scholarship. Many of the presenters were computer scientists, developing new educational software. Important research is being done to develop a new generation of learning software on portable handheld devices, like smartphones and PDAs. A second line of active research was in “computer supported collaborative learning” (CSCL), which basically means, bringing students together over the Internet as they work toward important learning goals.
At a brief stop at the University of Hong Kong, I met one of the Chinese scholars who worked to translate my book The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences into Chinese. He was one of a team working at South China Normal University, in Guangzhou. The Chinese translation was just published in May and he was happy to report that sales have passed 3,000 after only 7 months, indicating a strong interest in the learning sciences in mainland China. I’ve been invited to return to Hong Kong and to Shanghai next July, and I look forward to spending more time with my Asian colleagues.