How can museums begin to more closely connect with in-school and out-of-school digital literacy practices, tapping the tools of the digital age as well as the elements of making, connecting, and experimenting that create powerful possibilities for learning? Can we, as museum educators, begin to see ourselves as designers, and reposition ourselves as active agents of change in today’s education environment? In what ways can museums be more involved in re-envisioning what education looks like?
These questions, among others, have been sparked by my involvement over the past few years in the research and practice around a social and participatory model of learning called Connected Learning — as well as my work with an inspiring group of educators within the National Writing Project. And while art museums have been only tangentially related to this practice (which I blame more on us museum educators and less on NWP), I was fortunate enough to be invited to submit a case study for the latest ebook entitled Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom (published online in February through the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning initiative). This volume highlights compelling firsthand counter-narratives from educators engaged in solving an array of challenges in today’s classrooms, drawing together a collaborative network of instructors who have been contributing to the NWP’s web community,“Digital Is.”
I wanted to take the opportunity of this volume’s publication to begin writing more about Connected Learning, sharing its principles and exploring more connections with the practice of teaching and learning in museums. Below is a link to the text of my case study entitled “Openly Networked Learning in and Across Art Museums,” published first in February 2014 as part of the Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroomvolume. This short case study examines the aspects of “openly networked” reflective practice in my work as a museum educator and blogger, pushing forward the concept of museums as spaces where communities of learners can connect, intersect, make, collaborate, and share. I encourage anyone unfamiliar with Connected Learning (especially those in museums) to learn more by visiting connectedlearning.tv or downloading the 2013 report Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design — and I plan to write more here at Digital Is and at ArtMuseumTeaching.com in the near future.
>> READ CASE STUDY at ArtMuseumTeaching.com or by downloading the free e-book Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom (PDF).