The HoTEL (Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning) project originates from the observation that most of the TEL research so far has concentrated mainly on the development of ad hoc technologies for learning, failing to capture both the potential adoption of emerging technologies not originally designed for learning in education and training environments and the innovative use that is made of technologies in non-formal and informal ways of learning and the extent to which this could be transferred/adapted to formal learning environments.
This is believed by the Consortium to provide a misleading and fragmented picture of the extent to which new forms of using technologies (already mainstreamed and/or successfully piloted and/or emerging) support learning. Innovative practices in the use of technologies for learning (especially in non-formal and informal learning environments) are often not sufficiently considered by research whereas bottom-up innovation is playing an increasingly important role in the field of TEL, which might lead to new theories for learning. On the other hand, there is a need to verify the impact of existing learning theories on TEL practices to determine whether this has led/is leading to innovation. Furthermore, the lack of a holistic approach in TEL as described above puts at risk the effectiveness and mainstreaming of new ways of using ICT for learning purposes: too often the timespan between the identification of technologies that have a potential for learning, the theoretical analysis of pedagogical implications, the piloting of such technologies and their adoption (first at small scale and then mainstreamed) is so long that the technology itself becomes out-dated compared to the changing environment and learning needs.
Based on the problems identified above, the HoTEL Support Action aims to contribute to more effective, holistic and faster innovation cycles in European TEL, by increasing quality at the level of the cycle itself and of the different phases foreseen, that can be replicated in the future. The HoTEL project focuses on the design, testing and validation of a new innovation supporting method for TEL: the HoTEL Innovation Support Model.
Next is an snopshot of the model