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Mar 03 2016 - 07:00 PM
Transforming Cities Into Learning Ecosystems With LRNG
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"LRNG is a movement dedicated to inspiring innovation in the learning process to one that better reflects the world we live in today." (LRNG)

Connecting

LRNG comes out of a decade of research that led to the development of Connected Learning: a pedagogical theory that 21st century learners thrive when their experiences are connected to student interests, production, peers, academics, multiple settings, and shared goals. A key implication for translating this theory into practice is that one organization cannot do it alone. LRNG transforms cities into learning ecosystems by connecting schools, businesses, and community organizations around the common purpose of closing the opportunity gap for disengaged, disconnected youth by tapping into and validating their passions and accomplishments with inspiration and guidance from caring adults and professionals.

Engaging

How do they do this? LRNG invites educators, organizations, and cities to develop partnerships that will build new learning ecosystems. Through Cities of LRNG, organizations can connect under the umbrella and support of LRNG to engage citizens in learning experiences throughout their urban community. This launch builds on summer pilot implementations in cities such as Dallas and Chicago. Youth can become involved by creating a free account with LRNG to develop a "playlist" of courses aligned to their interests. Students learn relevant, cool skills, and demonstrate mastery in creative ways by earning Badges such as IP Tracer from Mozilla, Earner-Advocate from Farmraiser, and Citizen Scientist from SciGirls. For educators, LRNG hosts, with Educator Innovator, the "No Bells, No Walls, No Limits on Learning" 2015 LRNG Innovators Challenge to "invest in teams of teachers committed to exploring how learning experiences can move fluidly and coherently across the spheres of formal and informal learning."

Creating Ecosystems

LRNG is itself situated in a complex ecosystem. Its parent organization is Collective Shift, it partners with Educator Innovator for its Innovation Challenge, and it is supported by the MacArthur Foundation and the Show Me Campaign. It weaves together physical cities and online spaces to reach students, educators, mentors, businesses, and community organizations. This blended environment has all the complexities of the real world, making their mission to empower youth to develop their interests and acquire relevant 21st century skills all the more relevant.

Image: roads and railways series #4 by woodleywonderworks via LRNG
Posted in: New Learning TimesNL Sector|By: Sarah van den Berg|397 Reads