Learning Light-led EU project to reach marginalised learners sparks interest from New Zealand

ENABLE, the Leonardo project led by Learning Light, which aims to bring e-learning to marginalised learners, is making such impressive progress that it is attracting interest from outside Europe.

Learning Light, a company focusing on promoting the use of e-learning and learning technologies and which is leading an EU-wide consortium of organisations developing effective ways to use e-learning to reach and engage ‘marginalised’ learners, has received an enquiry from McGirr Associates, New Zealand’s leading producer of e-learning for ‘hard to reach’ learners.

A few months ago, Learning Light’s operations director, David Patterson, was a keynote speaker at the International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS) International ‘Conference e-Learning 2010’, held in Freiburg, Germany. He spoke on: ‘E-learning: Regeneration, Research and Innovation’ and, among other things, gave an update on the progress in the ‘ENABLE’ project.

This 24 month, 300,000 euro project, funded by the EU under the Leonardo Transfer of Innovation scheme, involves Learning Light, The Workshop Sheffield (TWS) and the learning development consultancy, The MRS (all based in Yorkshire), along with partner organisations in Italy, Greece, Romania and Poland. The first phase of the project – recently completed – involved research in these four countries as well as the UK.

David Patterson, Learning Light’s operations director, revealed: “Learning Light is co-ordinating the pan-European project to enable ‘marginalised’ learners to develop their knowledge and skills via e-learning. This is exactly the audience which McGirr Associates is also targeting in New Zealand – and Mandy McGirr, of McGirr Associates in New Zealand, contacted us as a result of my keynote address at the IADIS conference

“In the UK, we studied the Somali community living here. In Poland, we studied women who were returning to work and we looked at other groups in Italy, Greece and Romania.

“We’ve developed two e-learning applications and we’re now rolling out this initiative across Europe, using the experience and expertise we’ve built up to identify and contact people who find it difficult to undertake formal learning,” he added. “The aim is then to engage these people in learning through more flexible learning delivery methods and technologies, including e-learning.”

“Mandy McGirr is interested not only in the research and results of the Leonardo project but also in the range of e-learning materials that Learning Light has developed covering various aspects of waste recycling operations,” said Patterson. “Having piloted these successfully in the UK, we’ve seen them put to use most effectively in Nigeria recently – among workers who, for a number of reasons, are unlikely to attend formal face-to-face training courses.”

These e-learning programmes deal with disassembling electrical equipment in the most environmentally-friendly way, following the requirements of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive). They aim to reduce the amount of this waste going to landfill and improve recovery and recycling rates – thus helping the environment.

Patterson continued: “Many people make their living from looking for precious metal components for recycling within this e-waste, burning the waste to get to them and this releases carcinogenic substances. They are literally killing themselves to get to the ’usable‘ bits from the e-waste.”


Notes for Editors
About The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive)

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) was introduced in January 2007. The Directive aims to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it. The Directive also aims to improve the environmental performance of businesses that manufacture, supply, use, recycle and recover electrical and electronic equipment.

Electrical and electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Some 1.8m tonnes of this waste are generated every year. The WEEE Regulations aim to reduce the amount of this waste going to landfill and improve recovery and recycling rates.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations apply to electrical and electronic equipment with a voltage of up to 1000 volts for alternating current or up to 1500 volts for direct current and cover: large household appliances; small household appliances; IT and telecommunications equipment; consumer equipment; lighting equipment; electrical and electronic tools; toys, leisure and sports equipment; medical devices; monitoring and control equipment, and automatic dispensers.
About Learning Light Ltd
Sheffield-based Learning Light is a centre of excellence in the use of e-learning and learning technologies in the workplace. Its knowledge base contains over 400 papers offering insights and advice on how to use e-learning & learning technologies.

Learning Light, which operates www.e-learningcentre.co.uk one of the leading resources on e-learning in the UK, works closely with the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield and has undertaken a Systematic Literature Review of the available papers on the effective use of e-learning in conjunction with the University of Sheffield.
Learning Light occupies a unique space in the e-learning and learning technology sector networking with:
• Suppliers of e-learning and learning technologies to support the growth of the sector
• Buyers seeking out learning technology solutions to improve the effectiveness of their business or organisation
• Leading organisations worldwide who provide it with market knowledge from around the globe
• Provides unbiased and impartial advice to both suppliers and buyers
• Hosts events and workshops that provide the platforms to impart and gain knowledge by encouraging collaboration and sharing of best practice
• Acts as a conduit between suppliers and buyers to forge successful business partnerships
• Provides market intelligence and benchmarking information gained from its many contacts and networking partners
• Provides access to research materials from leading learning technology professionals
Further information from:

David Patterson/ Gill Broadhead, Learning Light, +44 (0)114 223 2442
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, +44 (0)1727 860405

About boblittle

For over 20 years, Bob Little has specialised in writing about, and commentating on, corporate learning – especially e-learning – human resources issues and technology-related subjects. His work has been published in the UK, Continental Europe, the USA and Australia. You can contact Bob via bob.little@boblittlepr.com