"Check-in" Learning and Social Learning Networks

Experiments in Check-in Learning and Social Learning Networks Blog Image

At the core of all of our work at the Digital Youth Network, whether it is understanding the affordances of social learning networks or creating new learner-centered models, is the idea that learners stay engaged by identifying the pathways most interesting and relevant to them. We address this by not only providing a wide array of program options but also designing social learning networks to provide our youth a space outside of structured programming to explore their passions with the support of peers and mentors. Being able to engage our students beyond the limited time and space of workshops and classes not only allows us to continue that work with them throughout the week, but just as important, it gives them a chance to bring invaluable outside experiences into the space to share with the learning community. A great example of this was one of our middle school students, Jalen.… more

YouMedia: A New Vision for Learning

YouMedia: A New Vision for Learning  Blog Image

In July 2009, YouMedia launched as an ambitious attempt to re-imagine the library as a more relevant learning resource for today’s teens. Understanding that the landscape has changed how teens learn, socialize and self-identify, how do we remix the public library experience so it can truly engage teens in a way that supports its core mission? A partnership between the Chicago Public Library and the Digital Youth Network, YouMedia took on this task through the creation of a unique 21st century physical learning space and an innovative online space to connect learners 24/7. The 5,500-square-foot space is open seven days a week to any Chicago teen, where they have access to more than 100 laptops and desktop machines, professional grade cameras and software, and a full music studio all at no cost.… more