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The Lab – A symbol of the Digital Society and its Learning Part 3

The Lab - A symbol of the Digital Society and its Learning Part 3Labbet - En symbol för det Digitala Samhället och dess lärande del 3

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there is.” This quote is often connected to Albert Einstein, however, there are written sources from 1882 where these words are included. At that time Einstein was three years old, so it unclear who really was the source of this timeless wisdom that is getting a new dimension in the digital society.

Driving-forces of the new dimension

In a world of data warehousing, AI that takes over repetitive tasks, human organisational forms that are going from hierarchy to flat project-based structures where skills, creativity and solutions rules the game, theories can serve as a floor, but practice is everything. In this spirit, the old division between theorist/administrative and operational/practical work will gradually diminish. And as education adapts to this new reality, it is leading us to the learning lab.

Theory and practice

“There is no warfare between theory and practice.
But theory without practice isn’t much use.
A friend of mine once said that there is no difference between theory and practice.
There is one difference.
Practice won’t let you forget anything or leave anything out.
In theory, problems are easily solved because you can leave something out.”

Charles F. Kettering, head of research at General Motors Corporation for many years, and was among many other things the inventor of the first solution to paint cars in other colours than black.

In addition to what Kettering said, theorists with no direct connection to practice is not of much use, and their purpose will be more and more questioned. But how can you build a learning environment to train such skills including transforming theory into practice?

The Lab

The Lab is a learning environment where entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs is being shaped. The method is trial and error where learn to code is one possible “Lab” that directly produce this, it can also be produced via serious games or gamification experiences or why not by starting a fictional business. In this way, the learning is project-based and from the projects, the learner is involved in, she is building a portfolio of direct results of her learning for future employment, a foundation to build businesses and generally as a window for her lifelong learning efforts. The learning portfolio is an excellent way of putting the CV into practice, which also gives strong indications of the three big C:s that will the main driving forces in the digital society: Creative-, Collaborative- and Communication skills.

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom

Author of the book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody


We are now about to launch Storyteller on eLearningworld Learning Lab, or SOE LearningLab, which is an adapted version of our platform for educational organisations and publishing houses to create interaQtive books. More information will follow next week.

Also published on Medium.

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