Shared purpose

The Powerful Combination of Interests and Peer Culture

April 5, 2014

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...

What It Takes: All of Us

February 11, 2014

This has been a groundbreaking year for the field of youth mentoring. With little fanfare, two large-scale, rigorous evaluations have been released, both of which suggest mentoring relationships have meaningful impact on young people. First, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada announced a very ambitious, ongoing study. Although still early in the study, researchers David DeWit and Ellen Lipman have found preliminary results that show children with mentors exhibi 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...

A Home within Home: Physical Challenges and Online Connected Learning Environments

December 13, 2013

Some of the characteristics of connected learning environments are that they allow for full participation and aim towards equity in their participation.  As we have seen with the fibercrafting community of Hogwarts at Ravelry, the group actively works to keep the group open to and welcoming of members of all backgrounds, setting a low bar for participation in activities and membership in the group. Through member interviews, an interesting theme that has emerged for some Hogwarts at Ravelry members is how Read More...

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...

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.



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