Today we are proud to announce a new research network, community site, and a set of learning and design principles that seeks to promote dialog and experimentation around a model we are calling “connected learning.” In a nutshell, connected learning is learning that is socially connected, interest-driven, and oriented towards educational and economic opportunity. Connected learning is when you’re pursuing knowledge and expertise around something you care deeply about, and you’re supported by friends and institutions who share and recognize this common passion or purpose.
We don't need to think of education as pushing scarce and static knowledge from center to periphery and of educational opportunity as being able to do better on standardized tests. We have the opportunity to tap into a much more dynamic, distributed, participatory, networked knowledge universe to capture the attention of diverse learners.
We believe we can harness the power of social media, online knowledge, and digital production tools to make this kind of learning accessible and ubiquitous. The power of digital networks is in the ability to connect learners and teachers across space and institutional boundaries, to build linkages between school, home and community, and to make information and learning resources highly accessible and personalized.
Our challenge is in guiding more young people to take advantage of these opportunities. We need an expansive and diverse network of people and institutions to develop, improve, refine, and take up a vision of 21st Century learning, and our hope is to support this process of network building through our connected learning approach and principles.