Hats for House Elves: Connected Learning and Civic Engagement in Hogwarts at Ravelry

BY: Rachel Cody Pfister

This case report presents and discusses how the Hogwarts at Ravelry community functions as a connected learning environment. It lays out the background of the case by situating it in the context of the rich social history of fiber crafting, explaining the origins and design of the parent site of, and explaining the history and design of […]

Crafting the Metagame: Connected Learning in the Starcraft II Community

BY: Yong Ming Kow, Timothy Young, Katie Salen Tekinbaş

StarCraft, a real-time strategy game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, has been labeled by many of its participants as the chess of the twenty-first century. Combining strategic problem-solving with fast reflexes has turned players into experts. The sheer pursuit of expertise drives many players to stick with the game for years and to share what they know with others. By […]

Welcome to Sackboy Planet: Connected Learning Among LittleBigPlanet 2 Players

BY: Matthew H. Rafalow, Katie Salen Tekinbaş

This case report describes one of a number of case studies from the Leveling Up project of the Connected Learning Research Network that explore the learning ecology of interest-centered youth contexts. In particular, this study and another on the online game StarCraft II are inspired by the theory of the metagame, a framework developed out of the study of […]

Schooling the Directioners: Connected Learning and Identity-Making in the One Direction Fandom

BY: Ksenia A. Korobkova

This study presented here is one of several case studies from the Connected Learning Research Network (CLRN) that highlights interest-based digitally mediated spaces for learning and affinity formation. Like other case studies in this series, this mixed-methods research delves into a particular community, members of which are connected to each other in two ways: (1) with an online forum […]

Learning The Ropes: Connected Learning in a WWE Fan Community

BY: Crystle Martin

This case study reveals how complex and multifaceted the professional wrestling fandom is through the exploration of one fairly typical fan community, the Wrestling Boards. Interest in professional wrestling brings members of this community together online, often aided by a lack of local community, encouraging participants to seek out new places to explore their interest.  Article available in PDF format. 

The Interest-Driven Pursuits of 15 Year Olds: “Sparks” and Their Association With Caring Relationships and Developmental Outcomes

BY: Adar Ben-Eliyahu and Jean Rhodes

In this study, we examined the characteristics of adolescents’ deep interests or ‘‘sparks,’’ the role of relationships in supporting the development of sparks, and whether having a spark was associated with positive developmental outcomes. Participants included 1,860 15 years olds from across the United States who participated in the national Teen Voice survey (56% European […]

The Role of After-School Digital Media Clubs in Closing Participation Gaps and Expanding Social Networks

BY: Jacqueline Vickery

This article considers how after-school digital media clubs, as an example of informal learning, can provide meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in the creation of interest-driven learning ecologies through media production. Ethnographic research was conducted in two after-school digital media clubs at a large, ethnically diverse, low income, public high school over the course of an academic year.The after-school clubs provided students […]

Connected learning and the future of libraries

BY: Crystle Martin, Mimi Ito

The ideas of connected learning can help library staff succeed in doing that. In their article on connected learning and the future of libraries, Crystle Martin and Mimi Ito provide an overview of connected learning and ideas on how to connect the framework to library services for teens. Martin and Ito also provided a list of resources available […]

Mapping Digital Makers: A review exploring everyday creativity, learning lives and the digital

BY: Julian Sefton-Green

This review maps the theory, practices and policies that underpin our understanding of digital makers and digital making in relation to young people. It investigates the relationship between what young people do today with digital technologies and what they then might do as adults and when in the workforce. In particular it explores how more […]

Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design

BY: Mizuko Ito, Kris Gutierrez, Sonia Livingstone, Bill Penuel, Jean Rhodes, Katie Salen, Juliet Schor, Julian Sefton-Green, and S. Craig Watkins

This report is a synthesis of ongoing research, design, and implementation of an approach to education called “connected learning.” It advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity. Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.

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