Watchworthy Wednesday: Remake Learning Network Turns 10, Reaches Forward

The Remake Learning network started as an experiment in collaboration among educators, researchers, mentors and caring adults and has become a movement touching thousands of lives in southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. As it marks its 10-year anniversary, the network just released “Learning Together,” documenting Remake Learning’s achievements.

Remake LearningAmong its more notable accomplishments:

• Connecting more than 500 organizations into a collaborative network.
• Training more than 5,300 educators in new and innovative teaching methods.
• Establishing more than 170 makerspaces for hands-on learning.
• Engaging more than 53,000 people in the annual Remake Learning Days celebration.
• Attracting more than $70 million in philanthropic support for local learning innovation.

“While everyone involved recognizes the extensive work still necessary to extend engaging, relevant, and equitable learning to all children and youth across our region, Remake Learning has made a fundamental shift in how our community thinks about learning. Today, learning is an active, anytime, anyplace experience that challenges both learners and educators to embrace their futures,” said Gregg Behr, co-chair of the Remake Learning Council and executive director of The Grable Foundation. “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far, but this journey is not yet complete. As Remake Learning begins its second decade, we look forward to reaching our next milestone when the impact of Remake Learning reaches every learner in our community.”

Excerpts from the report:

Mission: Remake Learning is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change.

When learning is relevant, it resonates today with a learner’s interests, culture, context, community, identity, abilities, and experiences, while allowing room for exposure and growth.

When learning is equitable, more supports and opportunities are afforded to those of greatest need.

More than 900 educators representing 100 districts and providers have participated in summer innovation intensives since 2013.

As part of the 2016 launch of Remake Learning Days, more than 100 organizations made commitments to support learning innovation. Philanthropies, businesses, and governments pledged more than $25 million of investment. Program providers announced expansions that would impact more than 400,000 kids and 20,000 educators across southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education committed to establishing a statewide STEM education task force along with nine regional STEM education stakeholder workgroups.

Remake Learning members secured more than $10 million in national and federal grants.

Remake Learning members won more than 20 national awards and recognitions.

What can we do in the next 10 years to realize meaningful learning outcomes for all learners? How should we measure Remake Learning’s impact on our region? How do we continue to make progress on equity and inclusion? As we work toward answering these questions in the years to come, we’ll be guided by a vision of the future in which learning:

  • Activates skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration so that learners are prepared for an increasingly technology-driven future.

  • Empowers learners to identify and solve problems that affect themselves and their communities; to fail, retry, and learn from mistakes; to express their creativity in authentic ways; and to both struggle and have fun.

  • Challenges learners to question, examine, and dissect social systems; to develop the confidence to address and deconstruct inequalities; and to construct a more just and equitable world.

  • Connects all the places learners live, work, and play, including schools, libraries, museums, parks, clubs, community centers, centers of faith, at home, and online.

  • Encourages learners to explore and play and support them to follow their curiosity using varied tools (including, but notlimited to, technologies).

  • Derives from deep and caring relationships between learners and their families, peers, educators, and mentors.

  • Connects learners to their communities and, in an interconnected world, help learners develop cross-cultural understandings that unlock opportunities to thrive both within and beyond their own communities.

“For 10 years, Remake Learning has worked to ignite engaging, relevant and equitable learning opportunities for every student — opportunities that leverage technology, art and the learning sciences to upend the factory model paradigm,” Behr wrote in an op-ed. “We believe that to truly prepare learners for the future, we need to equip them not only with deep content knowledge and high-tech tools, but also the skills and creativity to adapt to and thrive amid dramatic advances in technology…. Whether learners pursue science, technology, the arts or something else entirely, Remake Learning works to help them chart a path through tomorrow’s uncertainties. That’s why it’s common, now, to see kids flying drones in local classrooms, or recording music at a YMCA. That’s why it’s typical to see educators teaching alongside gamers and designers, and to see learning scientists planning summer camps with artists and museum curators. There’s no other place in America yet doing collectively what our partners do: remake learning together, in all the places a child might learn.”

Images courtesy Remake Learning