This question from the recent Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design sums up much of the discussion that is happening within my circles:
The trends we are seeing in today’s new media environment present new risks, but also unprecedented opportunities in making interest-driven, engaging, and meaningful learning accessible to more young people… (p.33) What would it mean to consider an educational agenda that includes more flexible, informal, diverse, and interest-driven learning environments (Ito)?
While a great question that we’ve in many ways tossed back and forth for years, the more fascinating piece to consider is this idea that what is happening in some schools and with many people on the Internet is creating a learning divide.
As they lay out, there are three items right now that are part of this divide:
- Formal education is often disconnected and lacking in relevance
- Learning is meaningful when it is part of valued relationships, shared practice, culture, and identity
- Young people need connection and translation between in-school and out-of-school learning (Ito)
If you are paying attention, all of this should make school leaders uncomfortable. It should make us wonder whether we are fostering the type of environment and experiences that put our students on the right side of this divide nearing your school’s front steps.
Lots of good stuff on Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design