Schedule Unveiled for Aug. 1-3 Connected Learning Summit at MIT

The eagerly anticipated schedule of the inaugural Connected Learning Summit has been unveiled.

The Aug. 1-3 event, to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, features keynote and plenary sessions by leaders in academics, industry and nonprofit organizations; presentations on innovative learning projects and research; interactive workshops on technology research and design, games and other media; a lively “hall of failure,” featuring honest postmortems on projects, programs and products; smart, fast, performative “ignite” sessions; a community showcase evening event for working papers, tech demos, and ideas; and fireside chats with luminaries across fields.

Highlights include:

  • A keynote conversation between Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, and Baratunde Thurston, a comedian, cultural critic who helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founder of Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast and author of the New York Times bestseller “How To Be Black.”
  • A plenary session, featuring Michelle King, a middle school teacher who will talk about how to create empathetic institutions that remind us of our humanity, how to redesign for equity and social justice in and out of school learning and how to design learning institutions to build connections.
  • A plenary discussion on connected communities, featuring Mimi Ito, director of the University of California Irvine’s Connected Learning Lab, Scot Osterweil, creative director of the Education Arcade and a research director in the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing Program, and Constance Steinkuehler, professor of informatics at UCI.
  • An esports symposium about how competitive video games can enrich the academic curriculum.
  • A spotlight on SciGirls CODE, a pilot program that with 16 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) partners nationwide uses the principles of connected learning to provide 160 girls and their 32 leaders with computational thinking and coding skills.
  • A workshop on the innovative music-making STEAM (STEM + arts and design) projects of the Expressive & Creative Interactive Technologies Center (ExCITe) at Drexel University.
  • A tech showcase, featuring 30 technological wonders advancing learning.
  • A research reception, featuring 40 working papers on topics ranging from creating digital learning games to hip hop music making in the classroom and middle school computer science coaching.

Organizers of the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Conference, the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference and Sandbox Summit joined forces to create the new annual summit.

“The convergence of these three communities — DML, GLS and Sandbox — promises to catalyze the field of learning technologies in a whole new way,” said Steinkuehler, former chair of the GLS Conference.

The summit will be hosted by UCI’s Connected Learning Lab, the UC Humanities Research Institute, MIT Media Lab and MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program. It will take place at the MIT campus every other year beginning this year and every year in between at the UCI campus.

Registration costs $200-$410. An early registration discount is being offered through May 31.

The summit’s purpose is “to fuel a growing movement of innovators harnessing the power of emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning.” It will feature experts discussing creative and playful learning practices with a focus on access, engagement and equity for children and adults alike. Its aim is to be a place where those excited to take learning to the next level gather to learn about cutting-edge strategies in connected learning.

“The Summit will have a progressive and inclusive focus,” Mimi Ito said. “It will bring together people truly committed to progressive, catalytic, innovative and transformative approaches to learning.”

Serving on the summit’s steering and advisory committee are: Mimi Ito, Osterweil, Steinkuehler, Drew Davidson, Samuel E. Dyson, David Theo Goldberg, Eric Klopfer, Akili Lee, Justin Reich, Mitch Resnick and Ricarose Roque.

Connected Learning Summit Advisory Committee

Top row, from left: Mitch Resnick, Samuel E. Dyson, David Theo Goldberg, Ricarose Roque, Drew Davidson and Mimi Ito. Bottom row, from left: Constance Steinkuehler, Eric Klopfer, Akili Lee, Justin Reich and Scot Osterweil.

Banner image, from left: CLS keynote speakers Baratunde Thurston, Michelle King and Joi Ito.