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IBM Cambridge Research Center

  Technical Report: New Workplace Learning Technologies: Activities and Exemplars

New Workplace Learning Technologies: Activities and Exemplars

Technical Report #:00-06
Author(s): Andrew L. Cohen, Bill Penuel, Eilif Trondsen, Kermit Patton


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Workplace training programs are now beginning to see the power and usefulness of technology to make company learning ubiquitous and cost-effective. For workers to benefit from them, these new technologies must be designed to support work practices of a company. These practices and activities in turn must be designed in accordance with the principles of the cognitive science of learning as discussed in our first paper. In this paper, we present some ways that innovative companies have used technology to support more effective and powerful learning for workers and their organizations. We have organized the paper around the kinds of technology-based activities that illustrate one or more of the cognitive science principles described in the first paper. In each section, we present examples of effective uses of technology within one or more companies and describe the specific role technology plays in supporting learning there. The end goal for workplace learning is competent practice, carried out by a well-coordinated group of active worker-learners, and technologies can be used to support the development of communities of practice organized to enhance learning.

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