Join a growing movement of innovators harnessing emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning.
Thursday, October 3 • 10:15am - 11:15am
Strategies for Collective Action and Impact

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Mobilizing for Creative Learning: A Citywide, Ecosystem Approach
Marijke Hecht, Mac Howison, Esohe Osai, Thomas Akiv

What is creative learning? What children get to experience it? How can we engineer the learning landscape for more equitable access and opportunity? In this talk, we describe a research-philanthropy partnership between a research team from the University of Pittsburgh and The Heinz Endowments that worked together to address these questions and build momentum around creative learning in Pittsburgh, PA. Throughout the process we intentionally focused on equity and access, with the explicit aim to avoid replication of systemic inequities. The talk will focus on both the process we used for this collaborative project, as well as highlights of what we have learned so far about our local creative learning ecosystem. In our presentation we will describe how researchers and funders worked together with key stakeholders to define creative learning locally and consider how creative learning fits into the local and national landscape. We will also share a key early component of this work—a project that used regional surveys, focus groups, and site assessments to map and model the current regional opportunities and supports available for creative learning.

Connected Learning in Rural Areas: Strategies for Implementation
Lance Simpson, Linda Braun

Public Libraries and other similar third-space community organizations have been ideal adopters of the Connected Learning framework. Dedicated to providing access and equitable learning opportunities, these institutions serve an important role in providing out-of-school education for children and teens. Through work with the IMLS funded Transforming Teen Services: Train the Trainer project with COSLA and YALSA, library practitioners on the state and local levels have provided training around Connected Learning, Computational Thinking, and Child and Youth Development to library staff across their respective states (Alabama, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) through a year long pilot program that will soon be administered nationally. While the project’s purpose has been to increase access to support and professional development opportunities, it has generated great discussion around the following research problem: How do we deploy the Connected Learning framework as a viable means for shaping in- and out-of-school learning in the rural United States?

Rural areas provide unique challenges in meeting the educational needs of children and teens, especially as it relates to Connected Learning, including a lack of public transportation, access to high speed internet, opportunities for engaged learning out of school, and more. Library staff from Alabama and Minnesota along side the principal investigator for the project will provide observations from the their respective states including needs presented to them at the state and local level. This team will facilitate a discussion to develop strategies to further inform current efforts to address the needs in a sustainable, replicable way.

Bridges or Circuitry?: Changing How We Think and Talk About Connected Learning Through Strategic Frame Analysis
Kevin Levay, Kiley Sobel

To prepare for a 21st-century workforce, students are developing skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). But STEM learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom; it also happens at home, in libraries, museums, and afterschool centers. Informal settings like these are essential to learning, yet members of the public don’t fully appreciate the value of STEM learning outside of school or understand the need to connect the learning that happens in different environments. How can advocates make a stronger case for connecting STEM education across settings? Through the Families Learning Across Boundaries (FamLAB) Project, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and FrameWorks Institute are attempting to shift how the adults in children’s lives—parents, teachers, after-school clubs and daycare providers, librarians, and other community-based organization professionals—think about where and when children’s STEM learning occurs. In this Connected Learning Summit Showcase, we will describe the process and findings of our research on how to improve public understanding of STEM learning, and ongoing efforts in training key leaders in education, policy, advocacy, and the press/media to effectively communicate with constituents. We will also share an online toolkit based on the research that provides strategies for communicating about connecting STEM learning environments, and is available at the following link: https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/toolkits/wiring-up/.

avatar for Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun

Consultant, The LEO Group
Linda W. Braun is a Learning Consultant with LEO. She works with educational institutions across the United States to design and deliver quality learning experiences for youth, families and professional staff. She manages large-scale projects Future Ready with the Library and Transforming... Read More →

Thomas Akiva

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Lance Simpson

Tuscaloosa Public Library

Kevin Levay

Research Fellow, FrameWorks Institute
avatar for Kiley Sobel

Kiley Sobel

Research Scientist, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop
avatar for Marijke Hecht

Marijke Hecht

Graduate Student Researcher, University of Pittsburgh School of Education
perpetually curious learning ecologist & urban nature geek
avatar for Mac Howison

Mac Howison

Program Officer for Creative Learning, The Heinz Endowments

Esohe Osai

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Thursday October 3, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am PDT
Doheny Beach A 311 Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697