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Cross-Institutional Partnerships for City Scale Learning Ecologies - Digital media and learning 2014


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Rob DiRenzo, Alex Molina, Sybil Madison-Boyd, Rafi Santo, Clare Bertrand

Expanded Learning Opportunities are reshaping when, where, and how student learning occurs. A well-designed and well-implemented ELO program can complement in-school learning and support academic growth by combining various ways for students to engage in learning. How do organizations, including schools, districts, and partners, build “expanded learning ecologies” for youth that support connected learning? The goal of this panel is to inform participants about building expanded learning ecologies to scale and across boundaries showcasing successes and challenges by presenting recent examples from Chicago, New York, and Providence, RI. To address the topic of scale, we will share examples of efforts that aim to reach many youth across many programs, beyond a single intervention or setting. To illustrate crossed boundaries, we will explain efforts to connect various nodes in a youths’ learning ecology (e.g., in-school, out-of-school, individual passion, etc.).

Chicago: The first Chicago Summer of Learning was a citywide mayoral initiative designed to expand learning opportunities for youth during the summer of 2013. More than 100 organizations took part in this effort to recognize learning in out-of-school spaces through digital badges. More than 200,000 youth participated in CSOL programs, and more than 100,000 badges were earned by youth of all ages. Chicago took a first, critical step in enacting core principles of connected learning and laying the foundation for a vibrant ecosystem of learning opportunities. As ELOs begin to signify experiences that link to content- and career-specific pathways, we expect to see even greater potential to transform youths’ lives.

New York: The NYC Department of Education’s Digital Ready program is designed to help participating NYC public high schools use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers. With Digital Ready’s explicit focus on student-centered learning, expanded learning opportunities play an important role in preparing students to explore, engage, and practice their interests. The Digital Ready and Hive Learning Network teams have worked to coordinate a collaborative effort between 10 innovative high schools and 13 groundbreaking Hive NYC organizations to provide students with a range of opportunities that blend in-school and out-of-school learning with experiences that are production-centered and creativity-focused.

Providence: Since its creation in 2004, the Providence After School Alliance has built two citywide expanded learning models in collaboration with the City of Providence, the Providence Public Schools and the local community: the AfterZone for middle school, and The Hub for high school. These models offer Providence youth a coordinated schedule of in-school, after-school summer learning programs for high school credit.

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Cross-Institutional Partnerships for City Scale Learning Ecologies - Digital media and learning 2014

  1. 1. Cross-Institutional Partnerships for City-Scale Learning Ecologies March 8TH, 2014 Digital Media and Learning Conference Boston, MA
  2. 2. Participants • Moderator: Clare Bertrand, Jobs for the Future • Panelist: Sybil Madison-Boyd, Digital Media Youth Network, Chicago City of Learning • Panelist: Rob Direnzo, NYC Department of Education, Digital Ready • Panelist: Alex Molina, Providence After School Alliance • Discussant: Rafi Santo, Hive Research Lab
  3. 3. City of Learning Model: Chicago
  4. 4. Learning opportunities are broadly defined (low bar) & identified (asset inventory) Please join us... If you offer young people, ages 3 through 24, an experience that is designed to help them develop new knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
  5. 5. Learning experiences are described in terms of gained skills, knowledge, and dispositions (populating the ecosystem) West Side Learning Center After this program, kids will: know _________ be able to _________ become __________ take on the role of __________
  6. 6. Designing Building Writing Performing Researching Leading Learning opportunities are made visible (platforms) •learners/parents/mentors see/search what is available •providers to see/search for connections
  7. 7. • Learning opportunities are connected (design work) so that: youth can pursue interests (pathway crafting) youth can see how learning is connected (emerging pathways) youth can see where experiences can lead (trajectories) I am interested in design. You seem to be interested in research. Engineerin g Internship This combination of experiences, qualifies you for an internship.
  8. 8. A representation model is used to recognize gains from participation (badges) Master of Design Junior Architect E-Zine Author Stage Actor Level I Researcher Novice Leader
  9. 9. Learning gets translated into currency across spaces (access to opportunity)
  10. 10. Divides
  11. 11. Alignment
  12. 12. Currency
  13. 13. #CCOL
  14. 14. DIGITAL READY Promotes • Student-Centered Learning • Professional Development • Partnerships • Technology
  15. 15. Levers of Change Curriculum Teaching Assessment Expanded Learning Opportunities
  16. 16. Creating a Framework
  17. 17. Courtesy of Leah
  18. 18. Bridging the Learning-Connecting Institutions
  19. 19. Youth • 21st Century skills • Specific knowledge and skills • Supportive and dynamic relationships • Identification of pathways • Engagement in youth-centered and interest-driven projects Impact on Stakeholders
  20. 20. Partners and Educators • Breaking down silos • Explicit connections • Collaboration on best practices • Broaden and scale the impact and outreach • Shared professional development Impact on Stakeholders
  21. 21. Crossed Boundaries Explore Engage Practice
  22. 22. Courtesy of Leah Gilliam Courtesy of Sara Vogel (Global Kids) Data Sharing to Improve Youth Experience • Curriculum Maps • Assessment Practices • Badges for 21st Century Skills • Meta-data and design • Offering credit for ELOs • PD around Academic Policy
  23. 23. Reflection and Needs  Intermediaries (for scale)  Funding ($)  Implementation timeline  E-portfolios (to showcase youth learning)  Platform (to link students to opportunities)  Partners (willingness to align work)  Scaffolding (to support pathways)  Access (inclusive framework)
  24. 24. Rob DiRenzo Partnership Development Manager, Digital Ready Website: Twitter: @DigitalReadyNYC
  25. 25. Alex Molina Deputy Director 401-490-9599 x108
  26. 26. Discussion: Rafi Santo Indiana University/Hive Research Lab
  27. 27. Q&A Moderator: Clare Bertrand Jobs for the Future
  28. 28. Thank you!