Connected Learning

Connected Learning: The Power of Curiosity

Friday, November 16, 2012 Comment female student looking through microscope in chemistry class

We commissioned filmmaker Nic Askew to make a series of six films that captures the spirit of connected learning, a new approach to learning that is anchored in research, robust theories of learning, and the best of traditional standards, but also taps into the rich new world of information, knowledge, and online collaboration available to youth and learners. This film examines the critical role of curiosity and engagement for today’s youth and in connected learning, the outcome of a six-year research effort supported by the MacArthur Foundation into how learning, education, and schooling could be reimagined


Connected Learning: The Experience of Education Reimagined

Friday, November 02, 2012 Comment black and white photo of empty classroom

We commissioned filmmaker Nic Askew to make a series of short films about connected learning, a new approach to learning he called “courageous” and “transformational.” This film introduces the story of connected learning, the outcome of a six-year research effort supported by the MacArthur Foundation into how learning, education, and schooling could be reimagined for a networked world. The film asks:‘Might the information age have presented us with the opportunity for a fundamental reimagining of the way we educate our children?’ ‘How might education come to life if children were to possess a burning need to


Five Elements to Help Redefine Public Ed

Thursday, October 25, 2012 Comment ivan illich headshot and quote about school as advertising agency for society

Imagine we redefine public education so that Dewey’s democratic society is co-created ongoingly, bettering each moment we practice it. The purpose of public education is a democratic society — John Dewey Imagine public education becomes the vehicle to social change, rather than, as Illich notes, a potential addiction to dependency. Imagine someone like Schmidt meets up with someone like Thiel and they agree on a premise that people are good, that human capital is our gold, that we really can learn/be/do anything today, and that the more we facilitate that for everyone, rather than regulate/manage some


From Theory to Design: Exploring the Power & Potential of ‘Connected Learning,’ Part Two

Thursday, October 11, 2012 Comment graphic of words describing creativity

One of the more compelling aspects of connected learning is the opportunity for students to create personalized learning pathways that establish important links across the different nodes in their learning ecology. I had a chance to witness the power and potential of connected learning during a three-week summer digital media and design camp that we conducted with students at Texas City High School (TCHS). Like so many schools populated by students from low-income households, TCHS struggles with the stigma that its students are low-performing and “at-risk.” And yet, outsiders might be surprised to see the range


Passion, Projects & Play: Restoring Creativity in the Classroom

Thursday, October 04, 2012 Comment art classroom mural illustration

At my elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona, problem students like me were often sent to the art teacher’s room. Unfortunately for me, my objection to sitting in a little desk, arranged in rows with other little desks, then moving in single-file to another room full of desks in rows whenever a loud bell rang, made me a problem student. Fortunately for me, the art teacher was my mother, beloved by many as Mrs. Rheingold. After the pin-drop quiet, pin-neat order of our homerooms, the happy chaos of Mrs. Rheingold’s art studio was like travelling to an


The Global One-Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown

Monday, September 24, 2012 Comment play is essential and key graphic

John Seely Brown has been immersed in innovation and learning for the last three decades. As a visiting scholar and adviser to the provost at the University of Southern California, co-chair of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, former chief scientist at Xerox Corporation and director of its research center, PARC, he has deep expertise in radical innovation. Combine this with his strong interest in digital youth culture and digital media and the result is a message that will likely resonate with anyone working at the intersection of learning, technology and youth. In this video, which


Be.App: Towards Facilitating Curiosity

Thursday, September 06, 2012 Comment be app meshing me a means to ground chaos as instigators emerge as community graphic

Many people are talking about (and creating) better ways to do public education. There are amazingly innovative ideas happening. However incredible, they aren’t currently equitable; they aren’t accessible to all. Imagine if rather than waiting to scale these ideas, we focus on scaling each individual. Imagine a quiet revolution where individual choice not only sustains but exponentiates a true democratic society (Dewey’s definition of public education). Imagine if the only thing standing in our way, is compulsion. Our findings have brought us to re-imagining the city as the school. Imagine all the money ($1.3 trillion on


From Theory to Design: Exploring the Power & Potential of ‘Connected Learning’, Part One

Thursday, August 02, 2012 Comment brick wall with the word learn etched into it

This summer I attended summer school…well kind of.  For three weeks in June I worked with a great team to implement a digital media and design project with high school students.  We followed that project with a two-week game design camp in July at the University of Texas with middle school students.  Both projects are what you might call ‘connected learning’ design pilots.  What exactly is that?  The goal of each project was to put into action some of the ideas that we have been theorizing about in our work with the Connected Learning Research Network. 


Professor Alec Couros: “The Connected Teacher”

Thursday, July 26, 2012 Comment 4 students in computer class working at the same computer

One powerful benefit of networked learning is that when you find something interesting, it often leads to someone interesting – and that someone often leads to entire networks of interesting people. Or, as Dr. Alec Couros puts it, “the tools come and go, but the relationships endure.” I found Professor Couros the way many people did, by coming across the intriguing diagram of “The Networked Teacher” that many educators now use in their slide presentations. By the time I discovered Dr. Couros, now professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, I had


Declaration of Interdependence

Friday, July 20, 2012 Comment red education barcode tagged graffiti on building

We have massive research and many evidences available…[ie: Diane Ravitch is declaring a bunch of them here, we’ve gathered particular ones here]…that what we’re doing in the name of public education is not serving us well. Perhaps we declare some new laws in regard to public education, in regard to interdependency. The term interdependency came as we were researching laws for homeless teens. While some states allow 14-year-olds to declare independence, often resulting in homelessness, some are trying to restate that to a declaration of interdependence where each teen is matched up with an adult. If