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Teachers Guide to The 21st Century Learning Model : Connected Learning

In the last Digital and Learning Conference  that took place in San Francisco,  researchers and scholars cited an ever-widening gap between what they considered in-school learning and out-of-school learning. The abyss between the two types of learning is growing wider and wider as more and more students are having free unlimited access to all kinds of information online. For them school curricula  are boring as they teach things that are not immediately related to their everyday lives. This is why disengagement, short attention span, and lack of motivation are among the most alarmingly challenging issues confronting every teacher today.

Researchers in Digital Media and Learning Conference stressed upon the fact that  for learning to be effective, it definitely needs to be " interest-driven and reinforced in the different contexts of kids lives by parents, educators, and knowledgeable peers." This model of learning is what they called  Connected Learning

Connected Learning is " when you are 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". Watch this great video to learn more about what connected learning is all about :

The Essence of Connected Learning from DML Research Hub on Vimeo.

Why connected learning

Connected learning is a necessity in this digital age. More and more of our students learning, attention, and access to information is taking place outside of classrooms and through online networks and exchanges. Connected learning, however, can help them cultivate the skills necessary for fulfilling adult lives and careers and that formal instruction alone could not afford.

Features of Connected Learning

Here are some important characteristics of connected learning model :

1- Interest-driven 
When a subject is particularly interesting and relevant, learners tend to achieve higher learning outcomes.

2- Peer-supported 
 When working and collaborating  with other peers ,students become highly engaged and learn more.

3- Academically oriented 
When academia relates to students immediate learning needs and interest-driven pursuits, learners blossom and realize their real potential.

4- Production centred :
 Connected learning prioritizes the learning that helps students produce, create, experiment, and design, a learning that promotes skills and life long learning dispositions.

5- Shared purpose
Connected learners share the same purpose which is that of thriving  around common goals and interests via leveraging the several opportunities of cross cultural and cross generational  learning that social media and web-based communities provide.

Forms of Connected Learning

Accordding to Don Panterfact,  connected learning has three forms : Formal, Informal , and Social. He illustrated these forms in this awesome graphic.

Connected Learning principles

Connected Learning TV has a great infographic that sufficiently covers the main principles of Connected Learning. Check it out below.

Connected Learning

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