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Smart learning environments use mobile phones for augmented reality.Source: Offenblende

It has been two years since my first post on smart learning environments on this blog. In that time, I have been busy further defining what smart learning environments are, what you need to install them – technologically as well as from a cultural perspective – and what works best when you want to maintain an environment that supports lifelong learning at the workplace.

We reached two major milestones along the way:

  1. The first was personal: After four years, 90,771 words and 89 self-designed graphics, I handed in my dissertation.

  1. We also created an offering at Bosch Software Innovations to support companies’ efforts to build smart learning environments.

How to approach smart learning environments

Smart learning environments

Smart learning environments are IoT-based solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into any working and learning environment. They enrich physical settings with context-aware, digital devices to improve and accelerate learning. That way, they can recommend the right learning content in the right place and at the right time.

Download white paper

Today I am very happy to give you a sneak peek into my latest white paper, “How to approach smart learning environments.” In it, I describe how the IoT drives smart learning environments and how companies can benefit. This white paper also presents my framework, which helps companies develop smart learning environments and foster life-long learning.

It is a planning and development tool consisting of five design patterns: Corporate Culture, User Centricity, Didactical Diversity, Hybrid Learning Space, and Hybrid Learning Assistance. Each pattern breaks down into six success factors.

Depending on the scope of each organization’s objectives, all 30 success factors have to be analyzed for their relevance to the company and designed accordingly. The patterns revolve around the following topics:

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  1. Corporate culture: How do we transform the company into a learning organization? What learning and development strategy do we need to do that?
  2. User centricity: How do associates work; what do they need or want to learn?
  3. Didactical diversity: What tools does the workforce need for learning? How do we enable learners to easily switch between and combine digital and physical tools (e.g. via a hybrid vernissage)?
  4. Hybrid learning space: How do we enrich the physical environment with sensors, actuators, beacons and the like to create ambient intelligence that supports learning efforts?
  5. Hybrid learning assistance: Once general learning tools have been installed, how do we connect them to a personal learning environment that supports a recommender system? How do we connect the ambient learning space to personalized learning processes?

Start small – think big

The nice thing about smart learning environments is that you can start small. You can choose an explorative approach that allows you to test and evaluate new technologies without the financial risk of substantial up-front investments. Once you have identified that one use case you want to start with, you can continue by using our systematic, socio-technical approach that combines pedagogical, technical and architectural aspects.

Infographic showing the success factors for smart learning environments. Source: Bosch Software Innovations

The above success factors are part of the design patterns and serve as a starting point when thinking about smart learning environments. They are the aspects that form the basis for each smart learning project and support developers to implement smart learning solutions step by step.

Do you want to read more about smart learning environments?

Are you interested in smart learning and working environments? Let us show you how to develop IoT-based learning solutions.

Smart learning environments are just in the initial phase right now. So far, modern workplaces dominate the field. Interested to learn more about how to set up a modern workplace?

We are on the journey from modern workplace to smart learning environments. But what exactly are smart learning environments?

If the Internet of Things is to be used in learning processes and smart learning environments, there are six main areas to take into account.

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