Connected Learning Environments: Introduction

UMich School of Education Brandon Center Grand Opening

I’m excited about the kickoff events for the Connected Learning Environments conversations and spaces on campus, which are part of Open Education Week.

“Any space, whether physical or virtual, can dramatically affect learning. Connections between people, programs, and technology within these spaces can foster new, dynamic, and integrative approaches to teaching and learning that challenge traditional notions of instruction, interaction, and student engagement.”
Connected Learning Kick-off Event:
Hatcher Graduate Library; Gallery
March 15, 2013 – 12:00pm to 4:00pm

I registered for this event (next FRIDAY, still time to join!), and only then started to dig into the topic. As part of registration, they asked people for questions and topics around which to organize the conversations. Here is where I started.

“I am interested in how CLE are shaped by technology, and how technologies shape the services offered; the space design; potential for use in “flipped” classes; I am also interested in the intersection between CLE and distance learning, independent learning, collaborative learning, and social learning. Part of positioning UM effectively in the new online learning environments means also establishing creative, engaging, and completely valid ways to engage in learning face-to-face, to maximise the F2F learning experience and campus learning opportunities to give reasons for people to engage with UM beyond the online. How do we, as an institution, balance these many learning environments, use them appropriately and effectively, build a strong and capable community of practice to support these, and use all of them to springboard us and our communities beyond what can be done or has been done with traditional sage-on-a-stage models of instruction.

I suspect this is a new phrase for an old concept, but need to know more. I provide a good bit of support in areas related to how technologies extend learning and learning environments, and need to know about this in order to effectively refer faculty, to facilitate connections. I am interested in the institutional strategies and priorities that are driving this initiative. Basically, I want to know the foundation elements: why, who, and how. Why are CLE important or innovative, what do they offer that is new and different? Why would a faculty member want to incorporate CLE in his course plan and in designing learning experiences? Who can or should use CLE? Who CAN’T use CLE? What are the barriers to adoption? What about people with special needs, either physical or learning disabilities? What about access on Central Campus? Are there plans for a variety of CLE spaces that are geographically diverse, and freely and widely accessible to folks who have difficulty moving from campus to campus? Why CLE? What are best practices for using CLE? What types of topics or challenges tend to most benefit from integration of a CLE? Which ones benefit least? What is the role of the faculty member? What are the responsibilities of the students? Are their characteristics of faculty or students that especially suit them for working with or in a CLE?”

Then I started digging into links. And more links. And MORE. Kind of overwhelming. I won’t share them all in this post, but here are just a couple especially good ones to introduce the conversation.

Learning Principles: Interest-powered / Peer-supported / Academically oriented
Design Principles: Production-centered / Openly networked / Shared purpose

FROM: Connected Learning Principles:

The ultimate infographic on CLE. Click through for larger size, or go direct to the original.

Connected Learning Infographic: DG_Macarthur_r03
Connected learning infographic:

Another infographic related to CLE concepts.

Infographic: Robots @ School

And here is the ultimate playlist of videos from CLE experts.

Connected Learning by Digital Media & Learning Research Hub:

I hope this intrigues you enough to join in and explore!


2 responses to “Connected Learning Environments: Introduction

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