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Posts Tagged ‘workplace learning’

Keynote given at ICWL2014 – The International Conference on Web-based Learning

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Scaling Informal Learning and Meaning Making at the Workplace

The nice thing about this keynote is that (I think) I managed to integrate some of the issues we face at the Learning Layers project revolving around the use of social media in informal learning with ideas around how shared meaning can emerge in social media. The second issue is addressed in the MERITS project thorough a number of experiments and computational modeling of socio-cognitive processes.  In this presentation, I drawn on ideas of a cognitive ecosystem. I introduce results from a classroom experiment in which we were successful to instill different levels of semantic stabilization in four groups of students by means of a very simple manipulation. What happened was quite unexpected for us though …

I got quite some nice questions from the audience as well. Here are some of the ideas I picked up from that discussion:

  • The connection of formal and informal learning: I think the Learning Layers project has a great strength in being able to cross different contexts. Going from a formal school or training setting into the workplace and the other way around. I think this should remind us educators that for the learners, there often is not really that big of a distinction between “formal” and “informal” as we like to think. Students just have to make sense of the different things they encounter in different contexts. And this is what you then call “learning”.
  • What if the learning in a group stabilizes around some misconceptions rather than what is the “right thing to learn”: I get this question a lot. And of course many examples of what comes out of social media conversations shows that this is really a problem. The experiment was not really meant as a “good practice” or blue print of how to run a course. It was merely to study some phenomena that are interesting from a learning perspective (I think) and the means to influence them. The cognitive ecosystems view suggests that we as teachers should be a bit more humble in how strongly we can influence the whole learning process. But the experiment also shows that artefacts introduced into the learning process can have quite a significant influence. So there is hope for us, I guess …
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Scaling Up Learning for Sustained Impact – Springer Book is Out!

October 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Scaling Up Learning for Sustained Impact

Scaling Up Learning for Sustained Impact – the proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Technology-enhanced Learning (EC-TEL)  – have been published by Springer. I co-edited the book together with Davinia Hernández-Leo, Ralf Klamma and Andreas Harrer.

The book makes available all the selected papers we had at EC-TEL this year.  This was a great effort by all programme committee members as we had a record number of 194 submissions in the review categories this year leading to 542 reviews that were performed.

We therefore had an acceptance rate for full papers of 22.8%. I think this shows that EC-TEL has become a great quality conference over the years.

I thank all the co-organizers as well as all members of the programme committee for such a great effort.

The book can be downloaded from the Springer Link Library:  http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-642-40814-4

Interview in the Austrian Radio Ö1

June 4, 2013 Leave a comment

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.

Wissen teilen – Mitarbeiter/innen als unterschätzte Know How-Träger

(in German)

Learning Layers visits Doctors and Construction Workers

May 10, 2013 Leave a comment

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.

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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.

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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.

Springer Edited Book on Open and Social Technologies for Networked Learning is out!

May 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Open and Social Technologies BookSpringer Edited Book on Open and Social Technologies for Networked Learning is out!

The book contains selected and revised papers from our conference in Tallinn last year. Thanks also to the co-editors, Mikko, Mart and Arthur, and to all authors!

Ley, T., Ruohonen, M., Laanpere, M., & Tatnall, A. (Eds.). (2013). Open and Social Technologies for Networked Learning. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-37285-8