My Connected Learning Round-up for 2012

NotesEarlier this year, I spent some time learning and posting about Connected Learning, in particular in the context of the college writing and literature classroom. Most of my posts focus on trying to define what Connected Learning is and thinking about how the strategy would work with college students in programs that often have strict guidelines about what courses must cover.

Here is a round-up of those posts, most of which appeared on the Bedford/St. Martin’s Bits blog:

I returned to my Connected Learning notes today to prepare for a discussion with Mimi Ito, Howard Rheingold, and Jon Barilone on the future of Connected Learning and how to grow and expand the movement. As I reflected, I kept returning to the same issues that made explaining and recommending Connected Learning so difficult for me:

  • I want to create a version of the definitions, the strategies, and the reasons that they are valuable in approachable language that meets the needs
    • of busy teachers who do not have the time to do extensive research,
    • of the families who see students engaged in non-traditional activities and wonder why this is an effective system,
    • of administrators who want to understand how these experiences will help students meet curriulum goals, and
    • of students who push back from these strategies and who need a better understanding of why teachers are choosing these ways to teach.
  • I want to better understand how various learning strategies relate to each other, where they overlap, and how to explain when and where Connected Learning is the most effective strategy. During the various webinars I attended in 2012 and in my reading elsewhere, I encountered a variety of terms: Connected Learning, project-based learning, problem-based learning, gamification of learning, participatory learning, participatory culture, and so forth. I need resources, even a simple glossary, to help me understand them all.
  • I would like to have a collection of position statements, rationales, and pathways to support teachers who are trying to get started. I would love to be able to provide some responses that teachers can use when they are asked questions at the strategy. Knowing in my heart that this is the right approach doesn’t help much when I’m trying to convince someone to adopt Connected Learning.
  • Finally, and most significantly, I wish I had the funding to pursue all these documents that I want to write. It’s so frustrating to have an idea of the kinds of documents and resources teachers need and not to be in a position where I can create them because I need to pursue work that will give me a paycheck.

[Photo: Notes by English106, on Flickr]

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