Connecting Youth Interests Via Libraries


As libraries across the country reimagine themselves, patrons, particularly young ones, are finding them more relevant in today’s technological age. Examples of innovative projects, tapping into the power of the Internet, include the Chicago Public Library, which offers a free Maker Lab, with access to 3-D printers and milling machines; and two branches of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), where underserved  kids are learning to code and tell stories through photography this summer. Many other libraries and librarians across the country are embodying the principles of connected learning as they evolve in this digital age.

Making Learning More Connected


I consider myself pretty invested in the Connected Learning community. I had the privilege of co-chairing the “Civic Education and Youth Serving Organizations” strand of the Digital Media and Learning conference in 2013, I contributed to an eBook edited by Antero Garcia focused on the application of Connected Learning principles to the classroom, and I am a Connected Learning Ambassador for the National Writing Project. Nonetheless, whenever I prepare to talk about Connected Learning with classroom teachers, as I did last week during a workshop with the UCLA Writing Project, I find myself a bit uneasy

Addressing “The War on Learning”


I’m always interested in technology critics who are accomplished users of the tools they criticize. Elizabeth Losh, director of Academic Programs, Sixth College at UC San Diego, teaches digital rhetoric, digital journalism, and software studies, and she was one of the organizers of a MOOC, FemTechNet, so she is neither opposed to nor unfamiliar with the uses of digital media in education. Losh is concerned, however, about what she perceives as an attack by educators on the kinds of informal learning young people engage in today — and an attack by education reformers on the human

Trust, Privacy and Everyday Life


I recently realized that it was time to move. My oldest son is 7 and he’d learned that “everything was on the Internet’ from a schoolmate, and wanted to see if our “house” was. We lived in a medium size apartment complex where the apartments all share the same address. We were the ground level apartment, with a townhouse above us, but inside the complex. I put the address into Google, switched on streetview, and, much to my surprise, used the little arrows to tour my apartment complex. When I made my way to our front

Fear and Learning in Las Vegas


I hung out with popular children’s and young adult authors like Mo Willems and Lemony Snicket and Markus Zusak last week. Okay, maybe “hung out” is too strong a description. I mainly walked in the same general vicinity as these noteworthy authors, occasionally snapping selfies. I admit that I was too, too lazy to wait in the long, long lines to meet these awesome authors (and many more). (Are you there, Judy [Blume]? It’s me, Antero, too impatient to wait to meet you but, still think you’re awesome!) See, my better half is a librarian and

Rapid Tech Change Requires Rebranding to Recruit Talent


A few months ago, I met the city of Austin’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and we soon discovered that we had several mutual interests, especially related to young people, technology, and a rapidly evolving economy. Intrigued by our conversations, we recently convened a meeting with several leaders from the city’s Information Technology team (CITT) that included the Austin Independent School District, Austin Fire Department, Austin Public Library, financial services, and public utilities. We also invited education officers from the University of Texas, Austin Community College, as well as education policy analysts. The purpose of the meeting was to

Badges Series, Part 4: The Emergence of the BadgeAlliance


Do you think you can pass the supreme BadgeGeek test? If so, good luck. Your challenge: make it through this interview. To appease my inner BadgeGeek, I reached out to Erin Knight, executive director of the Badge Alliance. To conclude my four-part DMLcentral series on badges, I needed her help. I wanted to gain a better understanding into her fascinating new organization but, more importantly, how it might just have solved a major problem with badge design I explored in my last post: the conflict between local versus network-wide badges. (Note: this is an abridged version