Announcing the Building Youth Pathways in Computer Science and Digital Making (CS-Paths) initiative

CS-Paths site banner 2We are excited to announce and invite participation in the Building Youth Pathways in Computer Science and Digital Making (CS-Paths) initiative, a partnership between Hive Research Lab and the Mozilla Hive New York City Learning Network to support the learning and identity building trajectories of teens engaging in computing  and digital making programs. Through this initiative, supported by the Spencer Foundation, Capital One Investing for Good and the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, we hope to develop and share best practices to help out-of-school organizations create opportunities for learning computer science and digital media making that span multiple experiences and settings. We see organizations like those in Hive NYC as critical nodes within larger city-wide learning ecosystems around technology and as key actors able to ensure that youth from non-dominant communities thrive in these ecosystems.

With national and local calls to provide meaningful computer science learning experiences to all students, this project aims to address key problems around ensuring equitable access. CS-Paths is included in the White House announcement today that charts progress on President Obama’s Computer Science for All Initiative, alongside incredible work happening across the country, including from many organizations connected the Hive NYC. You can see the full fact sheet that includes our work here.

In this post, we provide some history leading up to this initiative, as well as describe the general activities and intended outcomes of CS-Paths. For New York City-based educators and informal learning organizations who would like to learn more, please consider attending our information session on September 29th, 10am-noon, at MAGNET in downtown Brooklyn.

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[white paper] On-ramps, Lane Changes, Detours and Destinations – New Community-Developed White Paper on Supporting Pathways Through Brokering.

In the summer of 2014, Hive Research Lab facilitated a design charrette focused on supporting youth interest-driven learning trajectories in the Hive. As part of the preparation for the meeting, mRoad signs groupedembers were asked to provide illustrative examples of what successful pathways or trajectories looked like on the ground. From the extraordinarily rich stories that members provided emerged our latest publication, a community-developed white paper entitled: On-ramps, Lane Changes, Detours and Destinations: Building Connected Learning Pathways in Hive NYC through Brokering Future Learning Opportunities.

This paper [pdf, exec sum, handout] makes a strong case for the importance of brokering as a key strategy for supporting youths’ interests in sustained and robust ways. Brokering (1) connects youth to meaningful future learning opportunities including events, programs, internships, individuals, and institutions that will support their ongoing interest-driven learning; and (2) enriches youth social networks with adults and peers that are connected to or have knowledge of future learning opportunities. The paper emphasizes that the Hive NYC community—with its robust social network of educators and professionals—represents an impressive cache of human and social capital that could be leveraged more fully through brokering.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.17.17 PMChallenges to brokering are discussed as well, including how a young person’s network orientation or help-seeking orientation may affect her ability to take up and navigate the opportunities brokered by high resource individuals. Several recommendations targeted towards individual organizations and the network are offered as generative starting points for thinking about ways to extend the impact of brokering.

We wish to thank the 70+ individuals (named in the Appendix) who engaged in the collaborative sensemaking discussions, reflective conversations, and feedback-giving that resulted in this paper. We hope this collective effort felt of value to all who participated and that HRL, as facilitators of the process, was able to capture adequately the thinking and expertise of the community.

And of course, we look forward to more conversations and collective knowledge building around this core youth development practice!

Using a Collaborative Design Research Approach in Hive NYC: Hive Youth Meet-ups Case Study

RafiJuanHive Research Lab seeks to provide value to Hive members through the sharing of formative reports, acting as embedded research partners, and engaging in collaborative design research efforts with members. This post reports on our recent design and evaluation work with the Hive Youth Meet-up team—Juan Rubio from Global Kids, Chris Amos from Carnegie Hall, Brian Cohen from Beam Center, Erica Kermani from Eyebeam, and Zac Rudge from Parks and Recreation Computer Resource Centers. While Juan and Zac have provided wonderful perspectives on various aspects of the project (also see Global Kids’ Chanell Hastings’ recap of the first two meet-up events), here we focus on the design research process itself. Since this was one of the most substantive projects where we’ve applied this process, we wanted to document and reflect on how things played out and how these methods might be applied in other contexts within Hive. Continue reading

What me, mentor? Introducing the Connected Mentor Framework for out-of-school environments

CM_logoMentoring is often described in terms of its intensity: the long arc of interactions, the deep bonds that form, the great investments made on both sides. However, when reflecting on the range of experiences that youth have in out-of-school contexts like those found in Hive Learning Networks, one can point to many instances when adults mentor youth in ways that don’t quite fit the traditional model, but are still valuable in their own right. For example: the video game designer hired to run a 7-week program, who not only provided instruction but also created a temporary conversation space to ‘geek out’ about the latest video games and the game design industry itself. Or the fashion designer invited to speak at a youth event about his journey to owning a small business. Couldn’t such “mentoring moments” be just as valuable or consequential to a youth’s learning trajectory as more sustained mentoring?

This is the question that the Chicago-based Mentoring Working Group—Tené Gray, Director of Professional Development at the Digital Youth Network (DYN), Elsa Rodriguez, program manager at Hive Chicago, and Bernadette Sánchez, associate professor at DePaul University—set out to address. Their Connected Mentor site, which launches tomorrow, represents a synthesis of rich research and practical knowledge around mentoring, including a mentoring framework that was developed specifically for the out-of-school context.

As our own on-the-ground observations here in NYC indicate that many ‘fleeting’ interactions between youth and helpful individuals do provide key forms of support contributing to the ongoing pursuit of interest-driven activities, we find this framework provides a valuable foundation to begin teasing apart and further leveraging these relationships. Furthermore, this issue of common language is something we’ve seen as important for any type of coordinated action and so we applaud this effort to develop a powerful and shared language around the practice of mentoring.

Tene and Elsa were kind enough to chat with us about their work and give us some insight into their Connected Mentor Framework. Continue reading

[brief] Youth Trajectories Interim Brief #2: Mapping Social Learning Ecologies of Youth

We are excited to share our latest research report, the fourth in a series of interim briefs related to our YTCover2Networked Innovation and Youth Trajectories strands of research. As we’ve mentioned before, HRL is committed to sharing, early and often, data and findings that we hope will feel relevant and useful to the Hive community.

In this brief, we discuss our recent work exploring how adults and peers have supported youth who participate in Hive NYC-affiliated activities. Drawing from interviews conducted with our case study youth (read more about them in our first Youth Trajectories brief), we articulate a set of 16 supportive roles—encompassing Material, Knowledge Building, Emotional, Brokering and Institutional forms of support—that our youth identified as being important to them.

SLE_MapWe also describe how we developed visualizations of these supportive roles and the adults and peers behind them, forming maps of something we call a young person’s social learning ecology (SLE). These SLE maps may be used to better understand and characterize aspects of a young person’s SLE such as redundancy of support and diversity of sources that we hypothesize may be consequential to sustained engagement in certain activities. Also, comparing a youth’s SLE map at different time periods demonstrates the dynamic nature of social learning ecologies generally and how certain providers (and thus forms of support) may be more transient in a young person’s life than others. Overall, we hope the findings summarized here may provide the Hive community with some useful insights into how a young person’s social learning ecology, with Hive educators as a critical aspect of it, may intersect with one’s ability to engage in interest-related pursuits.

As always, we welcome any feedback, thoughts or questions you may have about this or any aspect of our work!

Hive Research Lab at the AERA 2014 Annual Meeting

AERA2014Hive Research Lab will be heading to Philly this week for the American Educational Research Association’s 2014  Annual Meeting.

We’re very excited to ‘debut’ our work on Youth Trajectories and Networked Innovation to the educational research community (and for some reason, despite the hundreds of presentation slots, we ended up getting triple-booked on Friday!)

The theme of the meeting this year is “The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy.” Check out the official meeting page, which also includes an online and printable program.

Here’s a run-down of our presentations and posters:

Friday, April 4

8:15 to 9:45am, Convention Center, 200 Level, Hall E
Poster Session 3
Poster: “‘Both R&D and Retail’: Hive NYC Learning Network as Infrastructure for Learning Innovation,” Rafi Santo, IU (presenting author); Dixie Ching, NYU; Kylie Pepper, IU; Christopher Hoadley, NYU

10:35am to 12:05pm, Marriott, Fifth Level, Grand Ballroom H
Symposium: Pathways, Trajectories, Ecologies, Oh My! Bridging Theories and Methods for Studying Youth Learning Lives
Chairs: Kylie Peppler, IU; Christopher Hoadley, NYU
Discussant: Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Presentations:

  • “Leveraging Youths’ Repertories of Practice: Toward Connected and Consequential Learning,” Kris D. Gutiérrez, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • “Trajectories of Family Learning Through Making,” Lisa Brahms, University of Pittsburgh
  • “Trajectories of Science Learning Activation in Scientists and Engineers,” Lynette Jacobs-Priebe, University of Pittsburgh
  • “Connected Play: Making Visible Trajectories of Participation,” Yasmin B. Kafai, University of Pennsylvania; Deborah A. Fields, Utah State University
  • “Connecting Opportunity: Identifying and Mapping Supportive Roles for Sustaining Interest-Driven Pursuits,” Dixie Ching, NYU (presenting author); Rafi Santo, IU; Christopher Hoadley, NYU; Kylie Peppler, IU

10:35am to 12:05pm, Convention Center, 100 Level, 122A
Invited Session: Innovations in Learning in the Digital Age
Chair: Constance Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Presentation: “Both R&D and Retail’: Hive NYC Learning Network as Infrastructure for Learning Innovation,” Rafi Santo, IU (presenting author); Dixie Ching, NYU; Kylie Peppler, IU; Christopher Hoadley, NYU

Other participants: GlassLab, Jessica Lindl, Institute of Play; iCivics. Jeff Curley, iCivics; Open Badges, Erin Knight, Mozilla Foundation; Educurious, L. Michael Golden, Educurious.

Sunday, April 6
4:05 to 5:35pm, Marriott, Fourth Level, Franklin 6
Symposium: Space and Technologies for Learning in Schools, Museums, and Workplaces: Recent Approaches in Design-Based Research
Presentation: “Designing Academic Technology-Rich Spaces to Facilitate Cross-Departmental Interactions,” Christopher Hoadley, NYU; Matt Lucas, NYU

Monday, April 7
12:25 to 1:55pm, Marriott, Fourth Level, Franklin 13
Symposium: Learning in the Making: Studying, Understanding, and Designing Makerspaces
Discussant: Christopher Hoadley, NYU [substituting for Kylie Peppler]

[brief] Youth Trajectories Interim Brief #1 – Introduction to Case Portraits of Hive Youth

HRL YT Interim Brief #1As we mentioned in a previous post, we’re currently working on sharing interim briefs related to the Lab’s two research areas: supporting youth trajectories and pathways, and developing the Hive as a context for networked innovation. These briefs are based on early observations and conceptualizations and are designed to provide the Hive NYC community with ongoing frameworks, findings and recommendations as part of a broader effort to connect current research and emerging findings to issues of practical importance.

This is the first brief related to the YT strand and it generally serves as an introduction to our amazing “Hive Five,” a group of youth who have agreed to let us talk to them on a regular basis about their developing interests and the ways they are engaging with them. This brief provides an overview of how they discovered and got involved in Hive programs, what their experiences in these program were like, and what happened after the program ended. In future briefs, as we continue to describe the moves they are making to pursue their passions, we will pay particular attention to the ways they are leveraging their ‘social learning ecology’ (i.e, their circle of family adults, non-family adults and fellow peers) in order to do so.

We hope our briefs are useful to the Hive community and welcome any feedback to make them even more helpful in the future. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Hive members who sat down with us and allowed us into their program spaces in order to help us round out the picture. Also, of course, it is such a privilege to be able to spend time with these incredible young people and to be let into a part of their lives. We hope you enjoy learning about (and from) them as much as we do.