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A new study led by researchers from Ulster University brings together education partners from across Europe to develop a digital platform offering formal and non-formal learning opportunities.

The Connected Learning project funded by ERASMUS will produce a digital toolkit for educators and learners to connect, map and promote education opportunities and will be accompanied by an app for smartphones and digital devices.

The digital platform will also allow users to store their formal and non-formal learning achievements, with the intention to develop a system of accreditation for non-formal achievements and will advertise education opportunities across Europe.

The platform and project are based on the premises of connecting learning in an increasingly mobile Europe.

The Connected Learning digital platform will bring together the expertise of education specialists in Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Sweden and Northern Ireland.

Ulster University is calling on local education partners to get involved in the research stage of the project to help shape the digital platform to best suit their future needs.

Dr Laura Bradley, Associate Head of Department of Global Business and Enterprise at Ulster University commented;

“We have witnessed a sharp rise in the use of digital devices in classrooms and as a consequence the landscape for digital skills continues to adapt. Building on recent trends, the Connected Learning platform will strengthen the opportunities for enhanced learning and student mobility allowing learning professionals to share resources and advertise opportunities across Europe. It will bring together formal and non-formal institutions, housing qualifications from higher education providers alongside community and local based learning. The platform will use a badging system which can be used by an individual to demonstrate their full suite of experience and skills to employers.

“Ulster University is leading on this international bid and we are calling on providers of formal and non-formal education across Northern Ireland to contribute to our research to help shape the digital platform by sharing their own personal experience of digital learning platforms and the digital skill set of their pupils. It is our goal to enhance the mobility of young people across Europe and offer opportunities to those who have been marginalised to level the education playing field regardless of background.”

Education providers who wish to provide intelligence or to find out more about the project can contact either Dr Laura Bradley or Dr Sharon Loane