Academically oriented

New Research (and a story) about teachers

January 21, 2014

Sometimes a simple anecdote can illustrate a point far better than mounds of research.  It was written by Jerome Groopman, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Experimental Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In this excerpt, from a recent New York Review of Books, Groopman highlights the vital importance of teachers that “get” their students and understand their strengths. I never learned to type. The best I can do is hunt and peck with two fingers while l Read More...

A new year and a new book

January 17, 2014

It’s the start of a new year and time to take stock. It’s been three years since the launch of the Connected Learning Research Network and the Leveling Up project, and a year and a half since the launch of this blog. Along the way, we’ve delved into stories of knitters, boy band and wrestling fans, fashionistas, eSports enthusiasts, and game makers, as well as how the online world is supporting their learning, sharing, and civic engagement. The cases we’ve developed over these years have both confir Read More...

*This* is Learning: How Perceptions of Learning Relevance Matter for Student Success

December 20, 2013

This is the first of a series of posts by the authors on learning and social fields. They draw on multiple research cases to articulate how different contexts determine valued forms of learning. Parent: “I think [Fashion Camp] teaches in an educational way. Is it academic or is it educational? That’s two different things. No, it’s probably not academic from a teacher’s standpoint...I believe 100% of it is educational, but I don’t believe it’s academic.” Interviewer: “So educational meanin Read More...

Connected Learning Environments and Common Core Standards

August 2, 2013

The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy for grades 11 – 12 in the United States are meant to mark the readiness of youth to enter college, focusing on reading and writing benchmarks that are necessary to succeed in post-secondary educational contexts and non-academic careers. These standards focus on such crucial skills as writing an argument to support a claim; writing informative texts to convey complex ideas; writing narratives to develop imagined experiences; developing and st Read More...

Encouraging Connected Learning Means It’s Okay for Students to Opt-out

July 23, 2013

One of the purposes of developing Connected Learning environments is to support the development of the Connected Learner.  The Connected Learner can, and seeks to, effectively knit together his or her social networks, academic inclinations, and individual interests to form learning communities that develop his or her expertise in a particular domain [1]. However, for individuals to become Connected Learners, they must first value this approach to learning.


Gender and Connected (After-School) Learning: Understanding “Can-Do” Girlhood (Part 2)

July 2, 2013

In my previous post on this topic, I introduced Michelle, a Freeway High School (FHS) student who now attends an elite private university on the east coast. In that piece, I utilized the framework of “can-do” and “at-risk” girlhood (posed by Anita Harris in Future Girl) to compare the pathways of two students I analyzed through their after-school engagement – the second case study is below.


To Geekdom! What Can StarCraft II Tell Us About Attaining Geek-hood?

June 10, 2013

Not long after I first participated in the StarCraft community, I fell in love with it. I admire its members’ activism, congeniality, and camaraderie. The players built the community infrastructure including organizations, learning ethos, social networks, and other programs. The StarCraft II community reveals one possible model of how peer-supported and academically relevant learning may manifest in grassroots and openly-networked settings.


Exploring interest-powered learning in informal game design clubs

May 10, 2013

Guest blogger biography: Gabriella Anton is currently a research specialist and the project manager of Studio K at the Games+Learning+Society Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her current work focuses on examining the educational and computational thinking benefits of learning game design. More broadly, she’s involved in the study of interest-powered learning, especially in online communities.




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