Cities of Learning - From Pilot to Impact

By Patrick Dunn - Ufi Freelance Project Account Manager and Educational Technology Designer

Back in 2018 Ufi started working with The RSA to pilot the Cities of Learning concept; a new model for designing and delivering inclusive lifelong learning, tailored to the needs of local people and economies, underpinned by a scalable digital platform and open digital badges.

As the pilot draws to an end, with Cities of Learning programmes established in Plymouth and Brighton, it is great to hear from Tom Keyon, Programme Lead at The RSA about progress so far and lessons learned in his blog Cities of Learning: From Pilot to Impact - RSA (thersa.org) .

What excites me most is that this project clearly demonstrates the potential for scalable digital solutions to help us all obtain the vocational skills we need to get more out of our working lives – Ufi’s mission.

If this infrastructure can scale within and across “places” (towns, cities, regions), and map digital badges to “learning journeys”, the potential for impact is immense. It could enable, for the first time, individuals to map out their non-formal learning journeys proactively by revealing and structuring what might be called “skill destinations” as well as specific employment. It could allow providers of learning opportunities (employers, colleges, voluntary groups, charities etc.) to make their offerings more explicit and responsive to local needs, by connecting them with other offerings within the same journey or pathway. And it would provide employers with an efficient and effective means of recruiting, that is more responsive to non-formal learning than any existing process.

As Tom says above, the Cities of Learning badges have breathed new life into the digital badge concept; a comprehensive underpinning technology that links them all together and provides a means of navigation will take them to a whole new level.

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