A £1.9m government-supported digital e-learning initiative has been launched.
The Open University's Knowledge Media Institute, Bridgeman Education and Lexara have joined forces to deliver the Project Silver initiative.
The project is part-funded by the government's Technology Strategy Board, and will see online academic resource Bridgeman Education partner with the Open University's Knowledge Media Institute and education product provider Lexara, to improve digital learning at all levels of education and in the corporate sector.
Together, the organisations will develop a software learning system that builds on Web 2.0 and artificial intelligence technologies to allow teachers and trainers to collect, organise, experiment and interact with multimedia.
The developers said the software will enable learners and teachers to select multimedia assets related to a theme, visualise conceptual relationships associated with those assets and assemble them in different ways reflecting alternative perspectives.
For instance, a history teacher could assemble multimedia assets related to changing perspectives on the right to vote since the nineteenth century (these might be photos, written testaments or modern-day videos). This will allow users to create different learning routes through the resources, understand interdependencies between historical events, and create and test hypotheses regarding the long term impact of particular events or people.
David Evans, technology strategy board chief executive, said, "We are working with businesses to develop the marketable products we will need in the future. And we are keen to focus on fast growing areas such as the services sector and the creative industries.
"That is why we are supporting this project, which aims to deliver a new approach to the use of multimedia assets in schools, Further and Higher Education and in the workplace."