Training with Purpose in the Junior Lifeguards

October 1, 2013

Every summer, in beaches across the Southern California coast, young swimmers aged 9 to 17 come together for five weeks to train, bond, and learn how to save lives. Under the warm but strict guidance of professional lifeguards, junior lifeguards engage in an intense program of open water swimming, beach runs, surfing, and lessons in ocean safety, rescue techniques, and CPR. In keeping with its reputation as a standout lifeguard service employing nearly 800 guards, the Los Angeles County lifeguards run an ex Read More...

Hogwarts at Ravelry and the Connected Learning Core Values

September 3, 2013

  Figure 1. A crocheted mandrake, inspired by the Harry Potter movies. It’s been nearly two years since I began fieldwork with Hogwarts at Ravelry, and, as the fieldwork winds to a close, I’d like to take a moment to step back and reflect on how the core values of connected learning make up the foundation of the group and allow it to become a thriving learning and social environment. By looking at Hogwarts at Ravelry, we are able to see that the core values of connected learning - equity, fu Read More...

HOMAGO: A web platform to hang out, mess around, and geek out

August 19, 2013

Over two years ago, the Teach Me Stuff experimental platform was launched in an effort to investigate how to best match individuals with coaches and mentors based on their interests.  The lessons learned from the trials of Teach Me Stuff lead to the development of HOMAGO) which stands for Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out. The design of HOMAGO was built from a number of lessons-learned during our coaching experiments with Teach Me Stuff.  Through coaching trials done with the StarCraft 2 commun 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.


Nerf Gun Modding, Parenting, and Winding Pathways of Interest Development

June 17, 2013

This is the first of a series of posts I plan to contribute on how connected learning relates to my own everyday life as a parent, and what I am learning from my own kids about making, learning, gaming, and online communication. Clearly the role of parents, siblings, and other caregivers in the family is critical to supporting, directing, or impeding connected learning for young people, and it can be a challenge to get a view into these micropolitics of the home.


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.



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