Learning 2.0


Jointly written in the spirit of our collaboration

The SnT-based research group on Dynamics in Interaction, Communication and Activity (DICA-lab) undertakes developmental research on human and social aspects of technology mediated interactions within complex socio-digital ecosystems. Basic and applied research is emphasising on

  • Situated practices of living, working and participating in socio-digital activity systems
  • Interactions within multi-device environments and through increasingly smart interfaces
  • Impacts of digital technologies and media use on learning, development and community building.
  • New forms of cultural expression and technology mediated participation.

The main research areas tackle community challenges such as:

  • Building trust through participatory research fostering mutual understanding
  • Co-creating innovation and transformation within organisations and communities based on the diverse needs of community members and across communties
  • Reducing digital gaps across society to promote digital inclusion and access to knowledge and development, equal employment opportunities, and take-up of ICT by target groups across the lifespan and professional contexts
  • Contributing to pervasive safety and health across the lifespan with smart solutions for improving personal well-being, quality of life, social participation and societal cohesion.

The lab is studying interactive processes “in the wild” through comprehensive process-tracking research methods, e.g. data-driven interaction analysis or tool-bound activity research.

It has ample expertise in the field of the analysis of learning and development in general, at all ages and within highly diversified – language and culture – settings. Developmental research projects foster collaboration, innovation and new forms of agency within inter-related activity systems and beyond organizational, institutional, cultural, or linguistic boundaries as well as the training of trainers and experts in the area.

Domains of application concern Distributed, Ambient and Pervasive Technologies, Augmented and Mixed Reality, Online Communities, Participatory Sensing, Smart Cities, E-inclusion as well as Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy and Trust.

In 2012, new research projects have been started.

The EU project “Improving web strategies and social media presence of LLP projects –web2LLP” aims to enhance dissemination strategies of Life Long Learning  projects through by providing personalised support and training on the use of  social media. The project was successfully launched with a kickoff meeting in Luxembourg in early March and a follow-up meeting in Florence in early October. In 2012, Dica-lab contributed with a desktop analysis on social media uptake and two video tutorials to the ongoing project work. Currently, the project team is preparing the online and f2f training sessions, that will be taught in Spring 2013.

The UL internal project “sciPADS: Creative Inquiry with ipads and Cloud Learning in Elemetary Science” (Codi-scile-a2) has been started in three public fundamental schools and the European School 2. The challenges of the first project year dealt with providing the IT equipment to the schools, implementing the cloud services in the local IT architectures and solving technological issues related to internet connectivity and access of the local schools. The data gathering process in the different schools will start from early 2013 on.

The three years project “multi-LITERACIES” was initiated mid-June 2012. It receives European funding for working on illiterate adults in multilingual, highly technology oriented contexts. First results were already presented in the Asia-Pacific, Australia and the UK.

Projects submitted but remained without funding in 2012 are currently undergoing further development with the local and international research partners. They deal with emplyoment issues in the Luxembourgish work context and technology inclusion.

DICA-lab continues to act as consultant and expert advisor for different public agencies and business partners:

DICA-lab is developing applications for multi-touch surfaces in school environments in cooperation with the Luxembourg-based company iNUI Studio (www.inui-studio.com) and multilingual applications for ipads with the business startup Loupe (www.loupe.com)

DICA-lab ran the RoboTEC Sud 2012 technology and learning event, which was coordinated and organised by the proSUD agency. During three weeks in June, 12 year old students from 15 fundamental school classes built programs in small teams to direct Lego mindstorm robots through a pre-defined circuit. The students’ collaborative programmation efforts and problem solving attempts have been recorded and organised as a searchable database for further analysis. DICA-lab works already on the RoboTEC Sud 2013 edition.

DICA-lab provided expertise in training professionals as well as supervision with regard to professional development in the area of mentoring, multilingual integration, research on diversity and the advancement of youth in science, technology and research.

Two new PhD projects have been launched in 2012, the first one is emphasisng „The collaborative construction of news media: care-giving, knowledge building and early education by web 2.0 tools“, the second one is focussing on „Participation and Language Learning in the multilingual pre-primary classroom“.

Three research projects have been successfully concluded in 2012.

The European project ‘Quicker steps’ (2011-2012) on collaboration between higher education and working life had a very busy second year with three working weeks and open conference days in three different European countries, i.e. Austria (Linz), UK (Coventry) and Finland (Jyväskylä). These events generated rich dialogues between academic and professional/economic partners. Final outcomes of the project have bee presented by the project team at the Eapril Conference 2012 in Jyväskylä.

The European ‘Language learning and social media’ network(2010-2012) with 13 international partners (universities, media companies, youth agencies) organised a final symposium in September in Poland (Warsaw). Several presentations about the project work which is focussing on Social inclusion, Multilingualism, Formal/non-formal learning, Interculturality, Socializing in web 2.0 communities have been dissemminated at European promotional events such as at Expolangues in Paris (February), European Day of Languages (Warsaw) or the European expert seminar ‘Social Media and Lesser Used Languages’ in the Netherlands (Leeuwarden Fryslân). A new key dialogue on “tandem learning approaches” has been launched by the UL team based on experiences in UL academic programs.

The research project „Fundamental English – FUNDENG“ (2009-2012) investigates English as a second language in classroom contexts at secondary school level. Data has been gathered in different classrooms of Luxembourg public schools and the European School. The data is analysed through interactional approaches (e.g. Conversational Analysis). The outcomes regarding grammatical acquisition, language uptake and classroom interaction allow to refine, consolidate and develop approaches to studying multilingualism.

DICA-lab members presented their work at various renowned conferences, panels and research symposiums in Australia, Korea, the US, Serbia, France, Italy, UK, Poland and Germany.  At the EARLI Sig 21 conference in Belgrade, DICA-lab presented 4 papers on learning issues regarding diversity. At the Eutic 2012 in Metz, 4 other papers were presented regarding the up-take of interactive technologies in different contexts.

DICA-lab co-organised the international doctoral school on language learning in diversity, hosted by INALCO (Paris) and SOAS (London) in September 2012. DICA-lab organised a local PhD-day in cooperation with members of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication, University of Luxembourg, in July.

A detailed list of all presentations, publications, networking and dissemination of scientific results activities as well as qualification work (research Master, PhD and post-doc work) of the research collective and its members is updated and available at the DICA-lab blog (http://dica-lab.org).

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Charles MAX

2012 DICA annual report

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