Dedicated to researching and reimagining learning for the 21st century

This interdisciplinary research network is dedicated to understanding the opportunities and risks for learning afforded by today's changing media ecology, as well as building new learning environments that support effective learning and educational equity.  Our work focuses on a model of connected learning -- learning that is socially connected, interest-driven, and oriented towards educational opportunity. 
  • As an agenda for research, connected learning is about examining learning that cuts across the contexts of home, school, and peer culture, looking at the links and disjunctures between them. 
  • As a learning theory, connected learning posits that the most meaningful and resilient forms of learning happen when a learner has a personal interest or passion that they are pursuing in a context of cultural affinity, social support, and shared purpose.
  • As a model for design, connected learning offers a way of connecting the often-fragmented spheres of home, school, and peer-based learning, leveraging the affordances of digital and networked media.
Our work cuts across research, design, and practice and includes social scientists, learning theorists, educators, and designers. We are committed to research that is collaborative, action-oriented, and united by educational values of equity, social connection, and full participation.

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Featured Blog Posts

A common topic of discussion among our team of Leveling Up researchers is how communities maintain different barriers to entry. Every community, be it an online forum for Worldwide Wrestling enthusiasts, One Direction fangirls, or Starcraft II players, has its own etiquette and sets of rules for entering the community and becoming a full participant. But for platforms that wish to continually attract a new and engaged user base, designers must think through how to minimize barriers to entry. In essence, lea read more
The connected learning model emphasizes the importance of peer culture and interests in fueling members’ participation and learning in the rich activities and opportunities these communities create. In interest-driven communities, it is the passion or interest that leads people into joining the community (Gee and Hayes 2010). As a researcher who has focused on interest-driven communities, I sometimes take this for granted. But the depth of what this means to members - that they are able to find a communit read more

job opportunity - postdoctoral scholar at Connected Learning Research Network

Network Members

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Mimi Ito
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