SOCIAL COMPUTING APPLICATIONS FOR COMPETENCY BASED ENGINEERING EDUCATION
This paper gives an outlook of the synergy between the social computing applications and the competency-based approach for lifelong engineering education and competence development. It presents scientific research and technological achievements within the framework of the currently running projects of the R&D Laboratory on eLearning Technologies and Standards, Technical University – Sofia, Bulgaria.
Web 2.0 or social computing refers to the range of digital applications that enable interaction, collaboration and sharing between users. Such digital applications include those for blogging, podcasting, collaborative content, social networking, multimedia sharing, social tagging and social gaming. The concept of social software is employed, which broadly refers to any web-based software tool that supports or fosters group interaction. Social computing applications allow users to communicate and collaborate in diverse ways and in a variety of media, which also helps learners to act together and to build knowledge bases that fit their specific needs.
The TENCompetence framework solves the problems of lifelong competence development described by providing an advanced infrastructure that integrates the different models and tools in the field of knowledge resource sharing, learning activities, competence development programs and lifelong learning networks. It selected the concept of competence development as its core, because it unifies all the approaches. In human resource management, knowledge management, training, and regular education the concept is used increasingly. TENCompetence supports individuals, groups and organizations in Europe in lifelong competence development by establishing the most appropriate technical and organizational infrastructure, using open-source, standards-based, sustainable and innovative technology. The main challenges are the integration of different levels of knowledge resource, learning activities, competence development, and learning networks. Raising the awareness and enabling a lifelong learning perspective and the integration of formal programs with social software, informal learning and community building in learning networks.