I was interviewed by the Austrian Radio Progranmme “Digital.Leben” (Digital Life) about the EU Project Learning Layers. A short sequence was now broadcasted in the latest programme.
Research projects on Information and Communication Technologies are often being criticized for overly emphasizing technical issues at the expense of considerations for where and how the technologies should be employed. The Learning Layers project is quite different in this respect as only roughly half of the overall budget will go into researching and developing technology.
The other half will be spent on gaining a deep understanding of the application fields and the practice of people, as well as the potential business opportunities and models.
The first 4 months of the project have therefore put an emphasis on establishing connections and gaining an understanding of the two application domains we are targeting, Health Care and Building and Construction. In January, we visited our partners in the Northern German Building and Construction Industry, such as Bau ABC in Rostrup and the Network for Sustainable Building and Construction in Verden.
As the pictures show, we not only held talks there, but got the opportunity to really experience the work and learning settings from a close distance.
In February, we then visited our partners in the Health Care sector in the UK. We visited one of the largest General Health Care Practices in the UK, The Ridge Medical Practice in Bradford as well as the NHS Bradford and Airedale.
Apart from the obvious differences of the two domains, it was also surprising to discover some striking similarities. Learning at the workplace and in and around work practices plays an important role in both settings. Making experiences and reflecting on those was one of the predominant modes of learning that was reported, and the need to scale these individual learning experiences to broader scope was clearly given. However, it also became quite clear that in both domains economic pressures for reducing slack time are immense. Sometimes we got the impression that with this focus on performance and productivity the time for learning and reflection are increasingly squeezed out of the work day. Clearly, applying technologies under these pressures will present a major challenge for the project.
This year, the local organizers of EC-TEL (CELTECH) have done a tremendous job in disseminating the conference. Among other things, they conducted interviews with all organizers, keynoters and other people. These interviews are now published in this Youtube channel. And below is my interview as the workshop chair, talking about the importance of workshops at EC-TEL, my particular role and elearning in Estonia.
I had a first presentation about the Learning Layers Project which will start in November. Stefanie Lindstaedt invited me to present the project at I-Know 2012 in Graz. This was the 11th time (out of 12) that I visited I-Know. It was good to be back in Graz and see colleagues and friends. And I will be back soon … in October, we have booked a family vacation there, and two PhD students will be having their defense.
Together with 20 partners throughout Europe, I recently submitted a grant to the European 7th Framework Programme, called Learning Layers. The project looks at how information technologies can be scaled up to support informal workplace learning in regional clusters of small and medium sized enterprises.
It now looks like we have secured funding, placing at the top of the list for that call.Thanks again to all for all the hard work that has gone into this!
We will most likely start in November 2012. There is only a rudimentary website at the moment: http://learning-layers.eu, but do keep an eye on this for further news!