Article Three: Piloting with Learning Toolbox (LTB) takes off in Bau-ABC (2016)

19/04/2016 by

by Pekka Kämäräinen In February and March 2016 the Learning Toolbox (LTB) was introduced into the apprentice training of Bau-ABC. As has been indicated in previous articles of this series, the Theme Room training campaign (in November 2015) had already provided a good basis for the pilot activities. This third article gives firstly insights into the preparation of the piloting by Bau-ABC trainers – supported by Learning Layers (LL) partners. Secondly it provides a brief report on the kick-off event and on a follow-up visit of LL partners. The point of the interest is to see, how trainers of Bau-ABC develop their own patterns of using the LTB. 1.Preparation of pilot activities by trainers: three exemplary cases In the preparatory talks Bau-ABC trainers presented three exemplary cases for implementing LTB in their training.  The first case focuses on the trade of well-builders. The second case deals with the learning area

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Article Two: Peer learning and use of digital media in Theme Room workshops (2015)


by Pekka Kämäräinen The first article of this series gives an overview of the Theme Room training campaign that was implemented in the training centre Bau-ABC in November 2015. This second article gives insights into the processes of peer learning and into use of digital media during the workshop sessions. Below the two main sections inform of the activities and learning experiences with the themes “Social media as support for learning” and “Preparation of digital learning materials”. Here it is worthwhile to note that these observations refer mainly to the group in which the author served as a co-tutor. In addition, some general remarks are made on the group dynamics in the parallel groups (based on knowledge sharing between the tutors). 1. The role of Social Media as support for learning In most groups the tutors from Bau-ABC were hosting Facebook groups for their trade and the apprentices were actively

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Pekka Kämäräinen from Learning Layers is recognised as an Honorary Member of VETNET


The Council of European Educational Research Association (EERA) has confirmed Pekka Kämäräinen (@pkamarainen) as an Honorary Member of its Network 2 (VETNET). Pekka is one of the researchers of the Learning Layers project from the Institut Technik und Bildung (ITB) of the University of Bremen. In this way this award is also an appreciation to the work of the LAYERS project team in the field of vocational education and training (VET) and in the construction pilot. We celebrate with Pekka this recognition and invite you to know more about his work here.

Article One: Insights into “Theme Room” training campaign in Bau-ABC (2015)

18/04/2016 by

by Pekka Kämäräinen One of the highlights in the Construction pilot of the Learning Layers (LL) project in 2015 was the training campaign based on the “Theme Room” approach in the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup. Originally the idea of such a campaign was initiated by the traininers (Lehrwerkmeister) of Bau-ABC in their internal discussions. They wanted to have a flexible training model that would link to each other regular presence workshops and self-organised learning with peer tutoring and online support. This was brought together in the concept of “Theme Rooms” (Themenräume). 1. The “Theme Room” approach takes shape and is implemented The key idea of the Theme Room concept was to agree on a set of key themes that would be covered by parallel (or successive) workshops. The continuation of learning should also be supported by online learning spaces and peer tutors. The participants will work their way through the

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New prospects opened by Learning Layers activities in the construction pilot in 2015-2016

14/04/2016 by

by Pekka Kämäräinen In November 2015 the Learning Layers project started its final year of EU-funded project activities. At this point the Construction pilot team was involved in a major training campaign in the training centre Bau-ABC (a major application partner in the project). This campaign involved all training staff of Bau-ABC in Rostrup (and of the parallel training centre ABZ in Mellendorf) and it focused on using digital media to support learning. It was based on the jointly developed “Theme Room” approach and supported by research partners from ITB and Pontydysgu. In the beginning of the year 2016 this effort was followed by the pilot activities to introduce the integrative toolset “Learning Toolbox (LTB)” into the training and learning activities of the Bau-ABC trainers. This phase of pilot activities has been supported by preparatory visits, a joint Kick-off day and short-term follow-up visits. Later on the piloting will be

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Start of Learning Toolbox pilots in Bau-ABC – Part Three: Technical issues, requests and ideas for further development

07/04/2016 by

In my two previous posts I have blogged about pilot activities with Learning Toolbox (LTB) in the context of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. In the first post I reported of the Kick-off event in the training centre Bau-ABC (on 14.3.2016). In the second post I reported on our recent follow-up visit (5.4.2016) with emphasis on progress reports in the pioneering groups and on plans to get new groups and learning areas integrated into the piloting. With this final post I focus on technical issues, requests for improvements and on ideas for further development of the tool. Technical issues At the moment the WLAN provides rather limited opportunities for using LTB in Bau-ABC. Partly this is due to the weak infrastructure provided by Deutsche Telekom to the area of Rostrup. This issue has been taken up by Bau-ABC to get the services improved – given

Start of Learning Toolbox pilots in Bau-ABC – Part Two: Feedback during a working visit to Bau-ABC

06/04/2016 by

On Tuesday the 4th of April we had an interesting working visit in Bau-ABC in the context of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. I, Lars Heinemann (both from ITB) and Martina Lübbing (from Pontydysgu) were on a whole-day visit in Bau-ABC to collect feedback and situation assessments after the first weeks of piloting with the Learning Toolbox (LTB) (see my previous post). In addition we discussed several initiatives to support the pilot activities during the LL project and afterwards. Below I try to give an account on the points and working issues that are most relevant for the whole LL project. Building upon the work of the pioneering trades During our visits in the working areas got a picture how the Bau-ABC trainers had experienced the first weeks of the pilots and how to support the next steps. With the pilot group of carpenters (Zimmerer) the LTB

Start of Learning Toolbox pilots in Bau-ABC – Part One: The Kick-off event 14.3.2016

03/04/2016 by

On Monday the 14th of March we experienced a great day for our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. We had the kick-off event of the piloting with the Learning Toolbox (LTB) in Bau-ABC (the training centre for construction sector in Rostrup). On the whole, this was a manifold event with different sessions and different activities (with focus on tool development, implementation in different trades and evaluation measures). And, moreover, the event was organised as parallel activities in two trades – the carpenters (Zimmerer) and the well-builders (Brunnenbauer). In this post I try to give some first-hand impressions on the sessions with the group of carpenters (and complement them with some remarks on the parallel group of well-builders). I know that the evaluators from the LL team of the University of Innsbruck (UIBK) will give more detailed accounts on these sessions and on their recordings on the talks with apprentices. From

Mobile Learning – the Dream goes on

29/02/2016 by

“What killed the mobile learning dream?” asks John Traxler in an article for Jisc’s Digifest. John goes on to say: Mobile learning was e-learning’s dream come true. It offered the potential for completely personalised learning to be truly any time, anywhere. Instead, we’ve ended up with mobile access to virtual learning environments that are being used as repositories. So, in practice, students reading their notes on the bus. He’s right but I am not sure his reasons are sufficient. The main problem John sees is that when early projects were developed into mobile learning, they were based on supplying participants with digital devices. This was expensive and limited the scale and sustainability of such projects. Now new initiatives are emerging based on BYOD (bring your own Device). This is more sustainable but raises its own questions. Bring your own device, enabling students to use their own equipment, introduces more

Possible use of Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC training – three exemplary cases

22/02/2016 by

Last week we had two working visits to the training centre Bau-ABC in the contexts of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. The aim of these visits was firstly to clarify, in what kinds of projects Bau-ABC trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) have planned to use Learning Toolbox (LTB) in the forthcoming pilot phase. Secondly we wanted to clarify what measures need to be taken to facilitate the Internet access in Bau-ABC. Thirdly we wanted to clarify, how to link third party apps or complementary tools to LTB to meet specific needs. The two latter points have been covered by internal notes. The first point merits public attention, therefore this blog gives a quick overview on the plans of Bau-ABC trainers. During the two visits the Bau-ABC trainers presented three exemplary cases for implementing LTB in their training.  The first case (developed together with Lothar Schoka) focuses on apprentices projects in  trade

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