Interview with Dr. Niki Lambropoulos

What is the status of ICT based training/learning now?

Niki Lambropoulos
Niki Lambropoulos, PhD is an author, researcher in Creativity, Innovation and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in Education, and educator.

Within one single generation ICTs changed the way we work, we learn, we have fun, we live. ICT-based learning and training aided in synchronous and asynchronous communication, collaboration, activities, classrooms and schools organization, learning activities convergence towards initial visions and targets, time management, and even enhancing human abilities as Technology Enhanced Learning, to name a few. In my opinion, there is the experimental stage of ICT-based learning with projects that involve future emerging technologies in learning and training, the currently utilized technologies, and the grey area between them. For example, new brain research revealed novel approaches in the ways people learn and thus, tools like thinking caps and virtual theme parks can be the starters of a new era of controlling our thinking processes. On the other hand, the current expansion of technologies such as google glasses, augmented reality, Internet of Things and interoperability between devices and space, ambient intelligence, online platforms, differentiated, personalised & adaptive learning created new approaches in the ways learning and training can occur. Formal and informal learning from a lifelong perspective has been introduced. The current status of ICT based training/learning in the European countries and the world depends on people’s and educators’ digital competences, openness in new ways of learning and the educational policies and frameworks in each country that facilitate or even create blockages for ICT based training/learning. A brand new world is already there.

One example, is the TRIA training environments. This is 3 different learning contexts: Workplace, School & inter-company courses. Learners learn and experience different forms of theory & practice in these three contexts because: (a) Knowledge is often situated in one of these contexts and does not get used in the other context, and (b) The multi-context approach often leads to disconnected, inert, isolated and fragmented knowledge that cannot be applied to solve real problems.

Technologies as “bridges”

  • Improve school effectiveness by connecting informal and formal learning experience to classroom reflective activities.
  • Support activities that target key cognitive skills (self-regulation, reflection and abstraction) without disconnecting these skills from their situational context.
  • Augment co-present educational interactions
  • Enable teachers to conduct rich learning activities
  • Create a shared space to facilitate learning through reflection on experiences made in different contexts

Example for TRIA environments

  • Classroom class e.g. on Environmental Education
  • Visiting the place for experimentation and experience, e.g. a museum or a park
  • Capture multimedia resources
  • Enter these resources in a chronological timeline e.g. on an eLearning platform or a blog etc
  • Each entry is enhanced with a title, description, tags, and comments. Photos can be annotated to highlight important features
  • Learners can quickly capture experiences, add short notes and use them for later reflection classroom activities
  • Formal learning feedback from teacher: Learning journal entries can be shared with teachers who evaluate and add feedback

Such approach can bridge the gaps between school and other contexts such as the workplace learning contexts.

For example:

  1. From the school to workplace: understand theory and relate it to specific examples of workplace experiences.
  2. From the workplace to school:
  • Experiences made in the workplace can be used for reflective activities to build connections to knowledge learned in school.
  • Teachers can assign activities, e.g. collect photos in the workplace about a certain topic to be discussed later in school.
  • Learner generated entries are used as practical examples to illustrate abstract concepts.

Schwendimann, B. A., Cattaneo, A. A. P., Dehler Zuffrey, J., Gurtner, J. -L., Bétrancourt, M., & Dillenbourg, P. (2015). The ‘Erfahrraum’: A pedagogical model for designing educational technologies in dual vocational systems. Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET)

The following, learning training and methodologies cab be accompanied with appropriate tools and educational policies:

  • TRIA diverse contexts
  • Talent performance support
  • Competence-based training and learning
  • Micro Skilling vs Macro Learning
  • Personalised, time- based, 360 degrees evaluation and responsive support
  • Content/resource curation in situ
  • Openness (policies, standards, systems)
  • Combined Degrees


What are the improvement measures?

The two personas an educational practitioner or student expresses, the learner and the user, is one of the essential pillars in ICT-based learning and training from a Human Computer Interaction Education perspective. These improvements and interventions can be directed on both the learning and technological aspects with the latter correspond and serve the initial learning and training visions and targets. Improvement in this sense is related to enhancing human knowledge, skills and competences on an individual, small group, and also community and network level. Some improvement measures can be the following:

  • Improve quality by establishing quality standards
  • Successful European projects can be identified and engaged with potential adopters from the outset
  • Congruence between educational innovation, pedagogical approaches and teacher values and skills
  • Tools performance indicators related to targeted pedagogical approaches and learning
  • Education leaders need to support current radical changes with new pedagogical approaches and learning models
  • Training on new technologies for both students and teachers
  • Teachers need to be more closely engaged in the early stages of learning, collaborating with peers and exchanging ideas and practices
  • Integrate ICT based teaching strategies across curriculum, subjects, activities and assessment
  • Teach the teachers
  • Teachers’ support organisations and structures (e.g. paid professional development training)

Overall Suggested Improvements

Enhance 21st Century Knowledge, Skills & Competencies to be

  • Transformed & transmitted though contexts and systems

Design, Develop and Enable Unified & Responsive TRIA Ecosystems

  • Anticipate customers’ / learners’ concerns
  • Reflective TRIA activities in Lifelong Learning, Training and Working
  • Everyday Connectivity & Practice via Artefacts/Computing
  • Accelerated Training by decreased Time

Policies/Strategies on national and European level

Appropriate Educational Leadership

How ICT technologies could improve the training?

ICTs have blurred the borders of time and space and thus, have provided the initial canvas for the participants to communicate and interact.

  • Clearer definitions of key terms
  • Relate theory with tools utilisation in the classrooms with best practices such as educational scenarios and learning plans
  • TRIA diverse and integrated learning contexts for formal and informal learning
  • Blended (online and onsite) learning
  • Time-based, archive-oriented & trail-traced learning processes
  • Adaptive and individualised learning


Productive, Pleasurable, Attractive, Exciting & Interactive

  • Engagement, Motivation, Stimulation

Unique discovery paths in computer-generated 3D W/L ecosystems

Simplicity, accuracy and ease of providing education

Efficiency by

  • right time and right place
  • rich content with computer-generated 3D imagery
  • students take control of their own learning
  • providing opportunities for diverse & authentic training

Coherence principle for focused material & tasks

Real-time, effective & efficient support

3D Scanning & 3D Printing  Example

Interactive Print: blending of print and augmented reality

Focused tasks within Immersive Worlds

  • User engagement without cognitive load

TRIA Ecosystems to Share & Reflect

Insecurity about the economy

  • Even for next day or week

Education does not ensures a job anymore

  • Old & Industrialised

Ensure cultural identity & globalisation

Reform Education

  • Complexity & Pervasive Computing


How to use these technologies to improve social entrepreneurship?

Social change at all levels of social systems creates and requires innovations, and is affected by new social innovations. Social innovations are new concepts and measures to resolve societal challenges, adopted and utilised by social groups concerned. Social change refers to processes of change pertaining to social structure, affecting societal institutions, cultural patterns, social action, behaviour and consciousness (Zapf, W. 2003: Sozialer Wandel, in: Schäfers, B. (Hg.): Grundbegriffe der Soziologie, Opladen, S. 427-433). Using new technologies can enable and enhance social change via social entrepreneurship as for example to:

  • Regulate and benefit social needs rather than separate society from technological innovation
  • Build socio-technical systems
  • Utilise Ethnotechnology (ethnography and technology)
  • Disseminate a social idea and solution so to become part of a group’s culture towards social innovation implementation
  • Use tools to defy social innovations resistance and compete with other traditional or newly proposed solutions to social issues
  • Emerge and transform current cultural traits
  • Change the rules of decision making
  • Participate in social processes
  • Adapt social practices
  • Create/Change patterns of behaviour and life styles
  • Create social innovation culture
  • Utilise tacit and local knowledge
  • Manage abundance and inclusive growth

User innovation Networks for Social Entrepreneurship Example

  • Users as manufacturers utilising social software
  • Co-Creativity and collaborative innovation
  • At least some users have sufficient incentive to innovate and solve a social problem
  • At least some users have an incentive to voluntarily reveal their solutions
  • Diffusion of innovations by users is low cost and can compete with commercial production and distribution

Niki Lampropoulou (Lambropoulos), PhD (Female) is an author and public speaker,  Senior Researcher in Creativity, Innovation & Educational Project Management, Human Computer Interaction Immersive Experience, PRINCE2 Project Manager, and Marie Curie Fellow. Creativity & HCI includes: Idea Generation, Creativity techniques, Immersive Experience, Innovation and Educational Project Management. The Creative Flow Zone Practical Applications for the mind (learning, art), the body (sports), environment (augmented, virtual and mixed reality) and society (communities and social networks). She holds a BA and Diploma in Education from the University of Athens, an MA in ICT in Education from the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL), and a PhD in HCI from London South Bank University. She has worked as an educator, ICT coordinator, QA consultant, e-learning expert, Project/ Innovation Manager including LLP and Marie Curie EU Projects at the Regional Educational Directorate for Western Greece. She is a visiting Senior Researcher at the Department of Informatics, London South Bank University; the Centre for Creativity, Innovation and Technology in Education (CRINTE), University of Western Macedonia, and Wire Communications Laboratory (WCL), University of Patras in Greece. She has published widely is her areas of interest.