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LearnerSpaces: Creating diverse, local learning communities
LearnerSpaces is a web-based platform that facilitates the creation of diverse, local learning communities.
Attiq: Software Architecture
Lukas: Software Engineering
Ruizi: UX Design
Daniel: Non-Traditional Education
Michael: ICT Teaching & Marketing
Our solution is a web-based platform where people can form and find communities of motivated learners, their learning spaces, and user-curated “tracks” of online resource recommendations.
LearnerSpaces: The main focus is on these spaces. People can identify locations as learning spaces during specified hours, inviting other motivated learners to come together and study. There are many possibilities, from spare rooms to co-working spaces, libraries, community centres, school buildings after-hours and nursing homes.
Communities: Diverse motivated learners in a geographical area come together in LearnerSpaces and share their various backgrounds, interests and excitement to solve meaningful problems relating to people like them and those they care about.
Tracks: People can distill the dizzying range of online offerings to make a list of the courses and resources they followed, planned to follow or think you should follow to learn about a subject. Users can review and remix these tracks to suit them better to their own background and interests. The goal is to keep it simple and linear for people getting started.
By having a space to go where they can focus on learning, be around other motivated learners and share the meaningful applications of their study, people will be more likely to complete their chosen online courses allowing them to make use of their new skills.
Not everyone feels like ICT education is for them, they need to see that others like them can study ICT and benefit from it. They need a supportive environment conducive to learning.
Loneliness is a big problem (beyond online education) and currently online courses can be a lonely affair that ends in courses being left incomplete.
Solution target group
Our target group is people who want to learn by making use of online courses. Online course providers will benefit from this as more people will complete online courses instead of dropping out. This improves the provider’s reputation and creates a positive cycle of uptake and learning.
People would use LearnerSpaces for all kinds of reasons--they might want to change careers, or just learn for curiosity. Or they might be looking for a community to connect with and get them out of their home or routines. Whatever their reasons, a more skilled population benefits society as well as individuals.
Our solution will help:
- Improve completion rates for online ICT courses, increasing the diversity of people with ICT skills.
- Connect people with new interest areas.
- Create more positive, creative interaction between people with different backgrounds and skills.
- Help retirees to get out of the house and meet new people.
- Decrease loneliness.
Solution tweet textLearnerSpaces is a web-based platform that facilitates the creation of diverse, local learning communities to help people everywhere learn new skills and solve problems while connecting to other local residents.
Other platforms are not satisfying the need for educational communities.
- Coursera has a single unsorted forum thread.
- Meetup has intimidating skills-based meetings only in cities.
- Facebook has no educational focus.
- Co-working spaces are expensive and only in cities.
Our platform is innovative, borrowing from the growing success of Makerspaces and other co-working environments. We believe every community should have a shared learning space to connect people and help them get new skills and solve problems.
Our solution can be used in relation to all manner of online courses, not just ICT education. It also works in any geographical and cultural setting, according to the needs and desires of locals. We believe it is a movement, analogous to Makerspaces.
We already have the beginnings of a website and can implement the solution within half a year. To begin with the service will just include communities based around our friends and families to test and begin creating guidance on LearnerSpace location pages. We will help start some sample communities in remote areas as a proof of concept, especially where school attendance is dropping and classrooms are empty. We will partner with local governments in some communities to find spaces for some of the samples.
Moving forward, we will grow through social media techniques, and also by partnering with course providers like FiTech. FiTech and others could suggest that their course subscribers try working in their local LearnerSpace. This would help FiTech increase satisfaction and completion rates, and also give a possible way for FiTech mentors to meet course members in person if needed.
Solution team work
We worked well as a team and will very likely continue to work well together in the future on this or another endeavour. We had an energetic, respectful discussions, listened to each other, and collaboratively designed and created. We have a great mix of educators, front-end developers and back-end architects and feel confident in being able to build a great pilot product.
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