Profile of Leon

Past Projects:

  • 2002-2005 Graduate School Research: Design of Learning Objects to Support Constructivist Learning Environments IEEETCLT This is the research I was doing for my graduate study at Computer Science Dept of University of Missouri at Columbia. I thoroughly investigated various research and development of elearning in academic and industry, got greatly disappointed with what was going on. They didn’t know the real problems of learning/education and they were creating problems to solve. I wanted to do the real research that really solves the problem. Within the acceptable framework of academic then, I wrote that paper. Instead of using the then very popular education theory Instructional Design, I chose to use Constructivism(the only education theory that I think has some value) as the theoretical basis to help get the ideas across. My research paper was written in 2005. I think it was submitted several times to several journals by my thesis adviser since then and only got published in 2009. Well, I care little of academic publication. A lot of the content of the paper was edited away. For more complete content, you can read my thesis.
  • 2005: YALE(Youth Alternative Learning Exchange) Columbia Project This project was inspired by John Taylor Gatto’s speech at Columbia, MO that year. Local people organized together to empower children in the local community to learn freely. When I was listening to Gatto’s speech that night, I was so excited! While others complained of the long hours of speech, the 3 hours speech was too short for me! We also invited a Sudbury Valley School teacher to introduce to us sudbury experiences.
  • 2006-2009: New York Natural Learning Group We advocate and spread the methodologies of Nature Learning. This is the time I kept exploring what is learning and what we can do to lead to the future learning. Wonderful discussions with many people trying alternative ways of learning.
  • 2006-2009: New York Grassroots Web It is probably one of the first of that kind (do good with technology kind, but it goes much deeper than that) of orgs in NYC and in US. We grew quite popular in NYC. We usually had monthly meetings with consistently over 20 people attending and we were actively involved in several projects in the city, such as open data then. Interview and report by Idealist
  • 2007-: Open Source Learning I came back to China in 2009 to do this full time(actually it is at least doubling full time). It was the real research I wanted to do. And we did it with a lot of hands-on practices with learning and teaching (children, college students, young professionals, migrating workers, seniors…). We explored learning and teaching with software that we built. I also get to know a lot of alternative learning practices here in China.
  • 2010-2013: Social Learn Lab Served as adviser and board member for this non-profit educational organization.
  • 2011: education survey of middle schools in Zibo, Shandong I went with Social Learn Lab to survey middle schools in Zibo to see how digitally equipped they are for online learning. The city of Zibo is a pioneering city in China in adopting new technologies for education. We interviewed teachers, principles, and students from several schools to investigate the result of current online learning in school and to explore possible reforms and software suitable for schools.
  • 2012: teaching online of Wuqi School students They are migrating workers from countryside. Most didn’t finished middle school or even primary school. They went to the city to make a living at a very young age. Their work is very intensive and long hours, coming close to sweatshops at the very least. They have a very strong desire to learn as they are very eager to change their fate. I taught them online using the format of “Open courses based on Significant Experiences“. The teaching is summarized in this notebook frame (only Chinese version available now. English translation can be provided).
  • 2013-2014: While working as CTO in software companies, I built up strong and passionate software teams together with a rich learning environment.

Social Profiles:

  • wp16 Personal blog: A hacker of the Internet for growth, fun, and creation This is my personal blog when I was in US. The content is mainly about learning/education, software, culture, (oversea) consciousness, and zen practice. It has a lot of my reflection on my experiences of western culture and American society. You can look at it as my conversation with American people/culture. Personally I hope Americans can read it and get something valuable there. The blog gained some popularity when I was still in US and I was very glad to have some keen readers. But since I came back to China, I haven’t been writing much on it because I should first care for things around where I live.
  • t-bird-16x16: free_stone I haven’t been using my twitter account much. Now I just start to use it more frequently. So gradually there will be more content there.
  • f16: beyond.liu
  • linkedin16 linkedin: leon.liu
  • sina16 Personal blog (Chinese): happystone This is the blog I am mostly writing on after I came back to China in 2009. So it already has a rich content on it. It has a lot of my reflection on Chinese culture and society. It also covers topics of learning/education, software and management.
  • sina16 weibo: olearning Weibo is Chinese version of twitter. I have already written a lot of content there. Together with my blog in China, you can look at them as my conversation with Chinese people/culture.

Speeches:

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