[vimeo 49645115 w=425 h=350]

John-Seely Brown’s animated keynote sets the stage for our exploration this summer here at Making Learning Connected.

How do you move … be in the flow … pick things up … feel it in your body … be in it, not just above it? … How do we create an arc of life-learning?

These are key questions in a Connected Learning framework where the nodes of a learners’ network – whether in school, at home, or within peer spaces and communities – are more connected and interdependent than not. Anchored in a rich history of teaching and learning research and theory, the framework describes a set of principles and properties that support a new approach to learning.

Bringing together and integrating the motivations, content, and abilities from social, interest-driven, and formal educational spheres promises to expand the reach of meaningful and sustained learning.

Emerging from the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative, of which the National Writing Project is a key member, these principles have now been more fully described in a newly released report, Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design. In the report the authors describe how the principles knit together three crucial contexts for learning:

Peer-supported: In their everyday exchanges with peers and friends, young people are contributing, sharing and giving feedback in inclusive social experiences that are fluid and highly engaging.

Interest-powered: When a subject is personally interesting and relevant, learners achieve much higher-order learning outcomes.

Academically oriented: Learners flourish and realize their potential when they can connect their interests and social engagement to academic studies, civic engagement, and career opportunity.

They also describe the core properties of connected learning experiences:

Production-centered: Digital tools provide opportunities for producing and creating a wide variety of media, knowledge, and cultural content in experimental and active ways.

Shared purpose: Social media and web-based communities provide unprecedented opportunities for cross-generational and cross-cultural learning and connection to unfold and thrive around common goals and interests.

Openly networked: Online platforms and digital tools can make learning resources abundant, accessible, and visible across all learner settings.

Additionally, Connected Learning environments embody values of equity, social belonging, and participation.

Connected Learning Principles Infographic

Connected learning is described as a “work in progress” and the report is an invitation to participate in researching, articulating, and building this movement. We invite you to participate in Making Learning Connected as one point of contribution.

To learn more about Connected Learning: