Project [English]

There is currently a wide range of tools for teaching and learning on the web. Educational institutions are increasingly using learning environments such as Moodle and social networks like Facebook as part of their training initiatives. Similarly, the number of web 2.0 tools for use in teaching and learning is also on the rise – wikis, blogs, Google apps or videoconferencing tools are obvious examples. The problem is that, despite the fact that they are already available on the web, they are widely spread and it is often hard to find, select and use the best tools.

Funded by the former Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation – now State Office of Research, Development and Innovation, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness – the Learning Apps project aims to create a place where teachers and institutions can easily find and build, with just one click, their own web-based learning environment. Thus, they will be able to choose which platform best meets their teaching needs (Moodle, Sakai, Facebook and others) and the specific tools for each subject (blogs, wikis, chats, forums, video/audio conferencing, etc.). The environment will also offer the possibility of registering new tools, rating those already available and adding information, such as user manuals, practical case studies, strategies or contexts of use.

 

Project objectives

iconosThe main objective of the project is the creation of an online shop for educational applications, content and services. Users will be able to integrate these apps into diverse educational platforms and environments or use them directly online with a simple click.

Drawing on existing models, such as Apple’s App Store, Learning Apps, which will be geared towards e-learning, will allow users to select everything they need to build a comprehensive e-learning environment or simply choose certain items to expand an existing online platform. Learning Apps project will enable the combined use of free applications, pay applications and applications based on a pay-per-use (micropayment) model. It will also include applications with both a free and ‘premium’ pay version. It will moreover be user-friendly and will not require advanced technological skills. The option of including ready-to-use comprehensive training actions in the model, replete with applications and integrated content, will also be explored.

At the other hand, the project’s specific objectives are:

  • To offer an online environment for collaboration, business and dissemination for educational content companies and education and training service providers..
  • To incentivise e-learning, offering a highly automated, low-maintenance environment that allows highly customisable educational environments to be built on demand that can be adapted to the different types of e-learning.
  • To create and promote a model and framework for the integration of applications and online learning environments, based on the concepts of Web services, software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing, that other institutions and companies can use, expand and generate business with.
  • To offer mechanisms to add new applications, platforms and services and an open, non-exclusive business model that allows sector providers to add their products, publicise them and generate business.
  • To assure quality and conduct the necessary pilot tests to prove and demonstrate proper functioning of the service and generate use cases that other educational institutions can use as guides.
  • To promote and grow the environment, convincing education providers to use it and the community and businesses to enlarge it.