Seeking Feedback on “Seeking Equity in Connected Learning and Teaching”

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This spring, I will be teaching ED677: Seeking Equity in Connected Learning and Teaching at Arcadia University. It is part of a larger Connected Learning Certificate Program also being established there.

As I wrote in the syllabus …

Connected Learning is an approach that sees learning as interest-driven, peer supported, and oriented toward powerful outcomes for youth. It also encourages production-centered learning in openly network environments within communities of shared purpose.

ED677 then, with a specific emphasis on equity, has been explicitly designed to support participants in exploring connected learning by engaging in a range of connected practices themselves as learner and creators, both on and offline. In this way this course strives to be a connected course about connected learning.

Jim Groom, a lead creator of the famously connected course called DS106, says it’s important to name the why behind making a connected class. Here are some whys for me as the course designer:

  • To learn so that we can teach: In order to teach in connected ways we must ground ourselves in what it means to be connected learners ourselves.

  • To critically examine what we are doing and why: In order to support connected learning in social, participatory and equitable ways for all learners, we must challenge ourselves to critically investigate what we are doing and why.

  • To learn new things through playing, creating and reflecting as a community of learners: In order to expand our experiences as learners we need to play, create and reflect together with new tools, techniques, ideas, materials and communities.

  • To connect and contribute to a larger field of learning: In order to be connected learners we will need to connect as peers as well to the larger field of learning.

At dinner with a friend the other day I was asked how I plan to get to the equity piece here, specifically. And then more specifically in light of the post-Ferguson moment we find ourselves in today.

I’ve been wondering this same question. I’ve also been wondering it in light of what’s been happening in Philadelphia education/K12 schools recently (and in public schools more generally and nationally). A part of my answer is to gather up of resources I know created by educators working with youth in the field around these same topics to share and discuss. But I realize that’s only a partial answer/start …

Here is a link to the emerging syllabus and well as a related Diigo group I’m using to gather some additional resources. I’d love feedback from both those involved in #connectedcourses as well as the larger #connectedlearning community. I’m interested in feedback on both the general idea of this being an online connected opportunity to dig into connected learning as well as how best to connect to real - and critical - conversations happening in the field around essential equity issues like #techequity #fergusonsyllabus #blacklivesmatter, etc.

Thank you!

[Note: In addition to DS106 and #connectedcourses, this course is greatly influenced by Making Learning Connected (also known as #CLMOOC) and the work of educators of the National Writing Project.]