Let’s begin this blog section with the original definition of the approach as proposed by the Connected Learning Alliance.
Connected learning is when someone is pursuing a personal interest with the support of peers, mentors and caring adults, and in ways that open up opportunities for them. It is a fundamentally different mode of learning than education centered on fixed subjects, one-to-many instruction, and standardized testing. The research is clear. Young people learn best when actively engaged, creating, and solving problems they care about, and supported by peers who appreciate and recognize their accomplishments. Connected learning applies the best of the learning sciences to cutting-edge technologies in a networked world. While connected learning is not new, and does not require technology, new digital and networked technologies expand opportunities to make connected learning accessible to all young people. The “connected” in connected learning is about human connection as well as tapping the power of connected technologies. Rather than see technology as a means toward more efficient and automated forms of education, connected learning puts progressive, experiential, and learner-centered approaches at the center of technology-enhanced learning.
The Connected Learning website includes a wealth of resources that help to understand this definition better. The formulation seems to be grasping the efforts of many teachers who seek various ways to tap into their students’ authentic interests and peer culture engagement with a view to raising their educational achievements. These interests and cultures are nowadays often digitally mediated hence technology becomes a natural vehicle of learning and teaching.
Are there other pedagogies parallel to Connected Learning? Any other terms that come close to this clever formulation of an agenda for research and learning design in 21st century?