Bildungsmarkt MediaLab (en)

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The MediaLab

The MediaLab resides at the “Department of European and pilot projects” of the organisation Bildungsmarkt. Our mission is to develop perspectives for people and companies.

Our MediaLab is first of all a place in the frame of education. It has foremost an educational mission.

The special setting is "Vocational Education and Training". The use of digital media-rich methods does not play a big role so far in this setting - not only at our organisation. We try to change this and by implementing our MediaLab we initiate the chance of examples for the other departments of our organisation and interested multipliers. Examples on how to use digital media tools to deliver educational content in a smart and modern way. But it is not only on the usage of smart and modern digital tools. It is on the importance to use a different cultural technique. With cultural techniques – like reading for example – we shape our view of the world. The book we read obviously has an effect on this view, so do the other media we use. Those present in a MediaLab produce an influence on society and thus back on themselves. This has a lot to do with the term Transfer which we chose being one in the glossary.

We delivered 4 terms for the glossary which we found important. These terms are: Medienkompetenz, Album, Transfer and Raum.

The prototype of our MediaLab reflects these important terms accordingly.

So our MediaLab has no physical walls, but consists of a space – a Raum. This space is a digital online platform in the cloud. The cloud in fact is a hardware NAS Server “Synology DS216+ II” which functions can be expanded by installing apps. The apps in fact are different kinds of software packets or software solutions which can also be found on a normal webserver. It is important that we rely on self-hosted solutions. We do not want to promote solutions which belong to Software as a Service (SaaS) or even free externally-hosted solutions whose only intention is to collect data.

Our platform not only offers software solutions. It has also a function of another of our important terms: Album. The platform is also a storage for files. These files can be media-rich. This storage function is important when it comes to the purposes of our MediaLab.

One of the purposes is that we need to implement a culture of sharing and remix in our organisation across all its parts.

In educational organisations the employee fluctuation for example is high. There are regular members of staff and freelancers. So there is not only a mainstream brain drain, but also a tool drain. The teachers, trainers and pedagogues often use their own multimedia and digital toolkit which can be of custom-fit quality for the purpose and the target-group. But no one else can benefit of this toolkit because when the trainer is gone the toolkit is also gone. In the good practice of Open Educational Resources (OER), our MediaLab offers the platform to share proven tools, toolkits and methods. One can imagine that it needs caution and awareness to establish a platform that also supports the sharing of digital and therefore loss-less material even when copied from copies.

Bildungsmarkt MediaLab and the five principles

The bildungsmarkt Medialab

  • is open : It is a lab on the www, with a public show case to display tools and products of digital projects in vocational orientation, education and training, and with easy access to the user community for persons involved in this field of education. For the beginning, it is promoted through the bildungsmarkt network of teachers and trainers, companies and professional associations. At longer term, it will be connected to the Berlin platforms of digital education, which, for the moment, do serve only general education and not yet vocational education.

  • is safe : Built in the style of an app store, it is user friendly for everyone who uses a smart phone. It provides a wide range of applications for vocational orientation, education and training, that support content and methodology (learning environments) and peer-to-peer collaboration (co-working environments). All applications are for free experimentation and development, with inspiring examples from practice (digital projects) and without reference to the legal education frameworks or to defined levels of digital proficiency. Experienced applicants functions as experts for new testers. A transparent system of user levels and groups allows to protect creators‘ rights and individual rights on applications and products.

  • promotes sharing : It is created by its users: Digital applications and examples from practice (digital projects) are in a mode of permanent collaborative development. Technical features for peer-to-peer counselling, feedback and assessment, and a human facilitator support this creation process.

  • promotes evaluation : Through various examples of applications in practice along with peer-to-peer counselling, commenting and assessing, a maximum of proficiency and expertise comes together and continuously improves the medialab and its components.

  • moves the practices in vocational education and training: In vocational orientation, education and training, it is quite common for project workers, teachers and trainers to work alone and develop and reproduce their own working style, methodologies and tools. This is especially true where the educational staff in one institution has got heterogenous professional backgrounds – teachers from university, professionals from companies, social workers, youth workers, scientists of various humanist fields … - as we mostly have it in project based vocational programmes for disadvantaged young people. Along with this, digital proficiency and the use of digital means for work purposes varies largely among the educational staff, and the digital infrastructure in vocational education institutions often is not well developed. In this context, the medialab bildungsmarkt is a tool for self- steered and collaborative professionalisation in a digital direction. It allowes to establish a culture of interdisciplinary sharing on digital issues, to shift from the informal exchange among colleagues „at the lunch table“ to a community wide mutual inspiration at any time of need.