Are low-income kids learning to connect in these ways?
Connected Learning: Relevance, the 4th R from DML Research Hub on Vimeo.
On the one hand, some of this language feels a bit “overselling”. On the other hand, how can we even imagine that we can teach marginalized kids all they’ll need to understand about the world in the relatively small spaces of classrooms that are walled off from that world?
Why wouldn’t we teach them to connect far beyond their own communities, as a routine element of their learning?
After some push back in class this week, I’ve been doing so much thinking about the “why” of learning about digital media and learning, because for me, knowing the “why” is absolutely necessary before even beginning to think about the “how”. I’ve always written to organize thoughts and to learn, so decided to do that here.
In an email exchange with a wise and thoughtful student this week, I wrote,
I am enthusiastic about this work, and that’s based pretty much entirely on the many studies we have on the ways that kids now learn outside of school using digital opportunities and the big disconnects that they therefore feel in school. It’s grounded in a sense of social justice when we know that kids in homes in which parents use technology are learning to create and connect in pretty important ways, while lower income kids are mainly being tested on computers but otherwise are learning little about how they might use this new digital world to enrich their lives and that of their community. There is also a really rich literature on teachers’ learning from each other via networks they form and the difference that makes in the kinds of learning that kids can access.
I’m grateful for the times when pushback in my courses pushes me to step back to think more about the “why”. I’m not sure I’d otherwise have tried to sum all of these things up in one paragraph.