“Connected learning is a model of learning that holds out the possibility of reimagining the experience of education in the information age. It draws on the power of today’s technology to fuse young people’s interests, friendships, and academic achievement through experiences with hands-on production, shared purpose, and open networks. “ – from connectedlearning.tv
Today we can easily learn anywhere and anytime. We’ve all heard a story about a programmer who created an app in her bedroom that became the next big thing or the comedian whose YouTube video led to a cable tv show. Indeed, in industries such as film, video, photography, graphic design, fashion and music, a personal portfolio or real-world experiences and social connections may mean more than a formal degree.
Young people today are able to pursue their own interests by finding resources online or connecting to social networks with similar interests. They can learn to code or create a video more easily than ever before. Yet the above stories, though more common today, are still stories an exceptional few who are either uniquely driven or have greater access to opportunities and resources.
What we need is a way to make it easier for all young people to connect their interests to their futures.
Connected learning recognizes that no single institution, program, or policy can meet the complex challenges of today’s world. Today’s learners need a connected ecosystem of opportunities. Connected Learning connects the nodes on that ecosystem.
Learning today is driven by learners and powered by personal interests. Learning is supported by social networks of peers, mentors, and professionals. With support, learning can be connected to real-world experiences and opportunities that advance life goals in school, career, and community.
None of these ideas are necessarily new or revolutionary, but what is new is the opportunity to create an infrastructure, provide the tools, and necessary supports to make connected learning more accessible to all learners.