Mar 30, 2017 | IRVINE, CALIF.
The University of California, Irvine has launched the Connected Learning Lab (CLL), a new interdisciplinary hub dedicated to researching and putting into practice equitable learner-centered innovation in educational technology.
“Emerging forms of personalized, networked, and game-based learning represents a massive new wave of innovation in educational technology that is already impacting millions of learners around the world,” said Mimi Ito, CLL director. “The CLL is dedicated to ensuring that these innovations are informed by robust research, and lead to positive outcomes for learners in all walks of life. The lab includes interdisciplinary networks of faculty members across the UCI campus, from informatics and education to the social sciences.”
The lab is sponsored by UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, School of Education and School of Social Sciences, as well as the UC Humanities Research Institute. It supports interdisciplinary research and design, and partnerships with a broad network of educational practitioners and technologists. The CLL’s focus is defined by the “connected” in connected learning, which refers to social relationships and emerging digital and networked technologies.
Connected learning happens when someone is pursuing a personal interest with the support of peers, mentors and caring adults, and in ways that open up opportunities for them, the CLL explains. “It differs from technology and institution-centered approaches to educational technology in being people-first, prioritizing student interests, cultural relevance, and the life of communities. Connected learning also is a uniquely interdisciplinary approach that brings together the learning sciences, social sciences, design, informatics and computing to develop new research frameworks, engage in pressing real-world problems, and develop and test breakthrough innovations.”
The creation of the CLL is a result of more than a decade of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation investment in the Digital Media and Learning Hub at UC Irvine, and the research of the Connected Learning Research Network and the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network. And, the Connected Learning Alliance, a project of the CLL, is dedicated to building a cross-sector network of organizations dedicated to the spread of connected learning.
“CLL has grown out of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, based at UCHRI. It will provide the leading experimental site for pushing the boundaries of connected learning, on-campus and off,” explained David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI’s director. “UCI is enormously fortunate to host the CLL.”
As part of the transition from the DML Research Hub, the CLL will host the annual Digital Media and Learning Conference at UCI. This year’s conference is set for Oct. 4-6.
CLL’s lead researchers include:
They emphasize that the research is clear that young people learn best when actively engaged, creating and solving problems they care about, and when supported by peers who appreciate and recognize their accomplishments.
CLL’s researchers also believe that all young people should reap the benefits of new technologies for learning, creating and connecting, but the reality is that more privileged youth tend to reap these advantages more successfully. Hence, educational programs and policies must address equity head-on in order to ensure that new technologies do not contribute to a widening equity gap.
The research projects they are working on include these themes:
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
Media Contact: Mimi Ko Cruz, 949-824-4587, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Steve Zylius/UCI