Knowledge Practices Laboratory (KP-Lab) Overview
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KP-Lab is a five year research and development project financed by the EU 6th Framework Program conducted by 22 partners from different parts of Europe. The aim of the project is to create a learning system, which facilitates innovative practices of sharing, creating and working with knowledge in education and workplaces. The KP-Lab aims at developing theories, tools and practical models in teaching and learning as well as digital applications which suit the new knowledge practices. The applications will be mostly based on an open source so they will be widely available. Researchers in pedagogy and psychology define and investigate the models of tools and practices; technology experts investigate and develop the technological solutions; enterprises offer authentic environments for investigation and they also participate in the development of technological tools. Institutions which represent the end-users participate in the co-evolutionary processes. The development done in different areas of the project, research, pedagogical and technological development, is conducted tightly together as a co-evolutionary process. The technical tools developed support the trialogical learning theory, where learning by development of a shared object is in the centre, underlying the project and the related pedagogical practices. EVTEK’s contribution focuses on coordinating the creation of technical solutions. The development work builds on emerging technologies, such as semantic Web, Web 2.0, real-time multimedia communication and inter-organizational computing. EVTEK’s tasks include software development (semantic web, social software, mobile applications), usability of applications - planning and testing and participating in the pedagogical development through for example field trials in media technology courses for students Examples of digital applications developed in the project include Shared Space, which is a virtual collaboration space that supports the trialogical learning and work. Many of the other tools developed in the project will be integrated into the Shared Space. The digital tools and pedagogical models developed will help in the advancement of knowledge practices in educational institutions and companies. They will be suited for different types of education, including especially virtual learning and teaching. Field trials in education are currently conducted in many different areas, in degree education and continuing professional development.