Scaling up Technologies for Informal Learning in SME Clusters
Learning Layers develops a set of modular and flexible technological layers for supporting workplace practices SMEs that unlock peer production and scaffold learning in networks of SMEs, thereby bridging the gap between scaling and adaptation to personal needs. By building on recent advances in contextualized learning, these layers provide a meaningful learning context when people interact with people, digital and physical artefacts for their informal learning, thus making learning faster and more effective. Building on mobile learning research, we situate learning into physical work places and practices to support situated, faster and more meaningful learning. Learning Layers provide a shared conceptual foundation independent of the tools people use and the context they are in. Learning Layers are based on a common light-weight, distributed infrastructure that allows for fast and flexible deployment in highly distributed and dynamic settings. We apply these technologies in sectors that have been particularly hesitant to take up learning technologies, i.e. health care and building and construction. Involving two representative and large-scale regional SME clusters allows us to involve end users in co-design of the system and later scale up the approach to more than 1,000 learners within 4 years. By inviting a larger set of stakeholders to adapt and build on our solutions and through research in sustainable business training models, the project will generate significant impact by boosting the ability of regional innovation systems to adapt to change and thereby remain competitive, on the individual, organisational and regional level. We demonstrate the impact in the two chosen sectors, but widen the scope to other sectors and regions towards the end of the project.