Learning with tablets

In the  Green Economy Academy we are currently piloting our first large scale – learning with tablets- initiative. The use of tablets in learning activities is moving fundamentally beyond the idea of considering new mobile technologies as interesting gadgets. The following arguments are forming the base of this interesting initiative:

- The creation of more interactive and engaging technology enhanced experiences inside and outside the classroom setting. (cf. polls, surveys, audience response systems, evaluation, …) + the amplification of the learning outside the classroom by setting up backchannels.

- The need to initiate pre- and post-activities / field assignments that could not be achieved in the traditional classroom setting using contemporary technologies.

- The extension of the learning activity before and after a face-to-face training session

- The visibility that a contemporary training centre uses innovative mobile and flexible learning technologies.

- The transition towards a paperless strategy for all learning materials and resources. This aims to increase efficiency in the training processes by cutting costs linked to paper-based material printing, storage, transport etc.


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Learning at the edge of chaos

Aid on the edge of chaos” , written by Ben Ramalingan  re-confirmed definitely the need of changing the paradigm when we think about aid in times of complexity. The book has inspired us to explore what ‘complexity adaptive thinking’ could mean in the context of learning and training.

Learning and knowledge sharing is not just about combining relevant subject matter expertise with appropriate learning methodologies and technologies. It’s more and more engaging in a process of transformational learning where new approaches with specific patterns, principles and flows bring inter-disciplinary perspectives together to address complex inter-related challenges.

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On October 6th and 7th a group of complexity experts will gather at the Centre to tackle this paradigm and come up with a roadmap that will guide us on how transformational learning can be embedded in the learning approach of the Centre, starting with a specific focus on gender and diversity issues.

While we are preparing this meeting we would be interested if you can share with us links, resources, insights on:

- Complexity adaptive thinking applied to learning and knowledge sharing
- Guidelines on how to integrate and use complex learning methods (future search, change lab, deep democracy, appreciative inquiry, social network analysis, …)

The focus group meeting will be prepared and documented on the following wiki “Transformational Learning” and we will integrate your contributions.

The Compass Cards are out there! Your direction for learning and training.

A few months ago we launched a crowd-funding campaign to design and develop the compass cards based on our on-line toolkit. The idea was to develop a mobile card set of participatory knowledge sharing methodologies and technologies. The campaign did not reach its financial goal but crowd-sourced on a variety of interesting  and alternative ideas to transform this concept into reality. We are proud to present these compass cards here on our blog.  Below you will find an overview presentation of what the cards are all about.

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In case you are interested to obtain a set of compass cards fill in the following form. You will be contacted shortly after with additional instructions:

ITC-ILO capturing interesting practices at E-learning Africa

Next week the E-Learning Africa conference takes place, this time in Kampala, Uganda. It’s the yearly meeting where more than thousand e-learning specialists (mainly African) gather to share interesting practices, to network and to learn about new learning evolutions around the African continent and globally.

This year we will participate to highlight some of our Mobile Learning Practices experienced in Uganda, Kenia, Tanzania and Zambia with a very specific focus on ‘youth’ and ‘entrepreneurship‘.

A joint ILO – ITC-ILO team will be present to capture good practices during the conference and will document them here in this blog to share with you.

If you are interested in specific trends, tools and technologies, let us know and we will capture them for you. Based on our recent projects and applied research we are very interested in the following teams:

- crowdfunding sustainable learning solutions through the enhanced use of social media

- interactive pedagogical scenario’s through sms based low end mobile devices in rural settings

- applying ‘design thinking’ methodologies in the field of e-learning and mobile learning for development.

What are you interested in?

 

Crowdfunding sustainable learning solutions

During the Learning Link we have addressed the economic dimension of sustainable learning, discussing the availability of resources for development training and how non-conventional sources of funding could be explored with the aim to increase the economic sustainability of learning institutions and their activities. One of the options to explore was the feasibility of crowdfunding which has been on the rise in the last 5 years. The Centre conducted a feasibility study on ‘micro-grants’ to give participants from developing countries the possibility to attend training or learning events in function of their professional development with a specific focus on institutional impact. We hope to organize in the nearby-future a knowledge sharing event on the results of this study as the complexity of such a project cannot be underestimated and we are keen to learn from fellow institutions who are interested in solving similar challenges. The exploration continues. Last week we launched a crowdfunding campaign on a specific training product that is highly in demand. Trainers and Facilitators who are currently using our toolkit http://compass.itcilo.org/ were wondering if we could not produce a mobile deck of cards which visualizes this rich set of 60 training methodologies and technologies. In order to test the market specific demand we will use the crowdfunding channel. If you are interested in supporting this project, feel free to go to http://igg.me/at/crowdfundingcompasscards/x/6451945 . A short instructional video about the new project is available here

Graphic Facilitation, what is it all about?

Tomorrow 35 colleagues will participate in the Centre’s first graphic facilitation workshop. To know what it all is about and to give you a visual taste we interviewed the facilitator, Nancy White.
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1. What is visual facilitation all about?

 Graphic or visual facilitation is the intentional use of visual practices, including drawing, using pre-made visual artifacts and other forms, by an individual or by members of the group to support the group’s process. Some of the intentions behind visual facilitation include:

•using visuals as sense-making tools
•using the negotiability of images to think together when words (written/spoken) may block us
•the value of people creating a shared artifact of their work/learning/experience • the power of “making my mark” as an individual in a group
•using as many of our senses as is useful in a particular context

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Mobile Learning for young entrepreneurs

The mobile learning story is continuously evolving at ITC-ILO and we are now ready to share the Mobile Learning Toolkit which will be used in the framework of the “Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB)” training package, currently activated in the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The toolkit mainly considers low-end mobiles rather than smartphones and relies on text based communication such as SMS to support learning, as it has been more popular in previous African mobile projects. Inspired by the MyCoop Mobile Learning Toolkit launched in 2011, the SIYB toolkit includes custom-made scenarios of use, instructional videos, downloadable step-by-step guides and a list of additional resources.

With adding a mobile component, SIYB trainers will be able to choose out of 14 different mobile methodologies and among a list of free tools to be used in order to apply the methods..

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Compass, a navigational instrument for innovating learning and knowledge sharing

Last week we launched our new and enhanced COMPASS Toolkit. The Compass toolkit uses the metaphor of a navigational instrument to guide you through a repository of 60 participatory learning, training and knowledge sharing methodologies. The Compass toolkit orients you in the way you design learning, training and knowledge sharing activities. It does so by identifying 7 learning and training objectives:

- Focus on learning
- Participate and network
- Access and build knowledge
- Assess, reflect evaluate
- Inspire and generate ideas
- Problem solve and plan
- Map ideas and relationships

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By clicking on one of the learning and training objectives, you will be directed to more detailed sub-objectives. If you click on the sub-objective that matches your learning, training and knowledge sharing needs the best, you will find an overview of possible relevant methodologies. The Compass toolkit provides you with detailed instructional fiches of all the methodologies. You have the possibility to print or download the instructional fiches of the 60 methodologies so you can use and distribute them in your learning and training activities.

We aim the instructional fiches to be as practical as possible. Therefore we illustrated each methodology by a case study of the application of the methodology in the context of the Turin Centre. The instructional fiches further provide you with some additional tips and suggestions of how to adapt the methodology to your specific learning and training needs.
The Compass is brought to you with the support of the Innovation Fund project on “Enhancing the Knowledge Sharing Capacity of the Centre”. With this toolkit, we aim to support all units of the Centre to embed knowledge sharing in their training and capacity development approaches, as well as in their internal working processes.

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More mobile learning updates

Two weeks ago we launched our first institutional mobile learning toolkit http://mobile.itcilo.org/ . It’s the result of a collaborative work with colleagues who shared how mobile learning can add value to their existing learning and knowledge sharing projects. Mobile goes in this way beyond the usual ‘mobile’ phone, and explores fundamentally how we can make learning accessible ‘anytime‘ and ‘anywhere‘ beyond the physical boarders of a training room. The  toolkit will be updated on an annual base with new stories as the mobile learning story is an evolving one which internally started just some years ago. We hope it will inspire you in your own mobile learning projects.

A new massive and online open course on Mobile Learning is about to start, jointly organized by the Common Wealth of Learning and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. You can register on the following website http://m4d.colfinder.org/

Finally from November on the Centre will start a new project on ‘mobile workplace learning’, together with the Open University of the Netherlands and the University of Turin, funded by the CRT Foundation. Stay connected, more mobile updates are coming.

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Appreciative Inquiry

In the facilitation of strategic retreats or meetings we use often the “appreciative inquiry” technique to facilitate positive change within an organisation/team. With this blogpost we would like to provide you with some background materials that can help you in designing and implementing your own ‘appreciative inquiries’.

Appreciative inquiry is an excellent method of organizational development that has the potential to engage every stakeholder, every colleague, every member of the organization when it has to deal with a period of change, renewal or improved performance. It is very suitable for strategic planning, project planning, problem solving, stimulating innovation, enforcing positive forces in an organisation, team building, monitoring and evaluation. Everything is based on the assumption that every organization has something that works well, and therefore can be amplified or strengthened. What do we want more? What is good here?

The following steps of the 4D model can be used to create positive change:

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