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]

Cross-Institutional Partnerships for City-Scale Learning Ecologies – DML2014 Panel

At this year’s Digital Media and Learning Conference, I had the privilege to be discussant on a panel that shared and contrasted three ambitious city-scale learning efforts: New York City’s Digital Ready/Hive NYC partnership, Chicago’s Summer of Learning project (now Chicago City of Learning) led by Digital Youth Network, and the Providence After School Alliance. As discussant, my job was to contextualize, synthesize and offer challenges for growth related to the incredible work shared by the panelists about the respective efforts.

Since we’ve gotten a number of requests for material related to the panel, the presenters agreed to have the audio recording and slides posted here on the HRL blog. The slideshare is here and also embedded below, and the recording is here, and also available in the player below.

[audio https://archive.org/download/DML2014CityScaleLearningEcologies3.8.14/DML%202014%20City-Scale%20Learning%20Ecologies%203.8.14.mp3]

The full abstract for the panel is here:

Organizers: Rob DiRenzo

Presenters: Rob DiRenzo, Alex Molina, Sybil Madison-Boyd, Rafi Santo, Clare Bertrand

Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) are reshaping when, where, and how student learning occurs. A well-designed and well-implemented ELO program can complement and enrich in-school learning and support academic growth by combining various ways for students to engage in learning. How do organizations, including schools, districts, and partners, build “expanded learning ecologies” for youth that that support connected learning?

The goal of this panel discussion is to inform participants about building expanded learning ecologies to scale and across boundaries showcasing successes and challenges by presenting recent examples from Chicago, New York, and Providence, RI. To address the topic of scale, we will share examples of efforts that aim to reach many youth across many programs, beyond a single intervention or setting. To illustrate crossed boundaries, we will explain efforts to connect various nodes in a youths’ learning ecology (e.g., in-school, out-of-school, individual passion, etc.).

Chicago: The first Chicago Summer of Learning (CSOL) was a citywide mayoral initiative designed to expand learning opportunities for youth during the summer of 2013. More than 100 organizations took part in this effort to recognize learning in out-of-school spaces through digital badges. More than 200,000 youth participated in CSOL programs, and more than 100,000 badges were earned by youth of all ages.

Chicago took a first, critical step in enacting core principles of connected learning and laying the foundation for a vibrant ecosystem of learning opportunities. As ELOs begin to signify experiences that link to content- and career-specific pathways, we expect to see even greater potential to transform youths’ lives.

New York: The NYC Department of Education’s new Digital Ready program is designed to help participating NYC public high schools use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers. With Digital Ready’s explicit focus on student-centered learning, expanded learning opportunities play an important role in preparing students to explore, engage, and practice their interests. The Digital Ready and Hive Learning Network teams have worked to coordinate a collaborative effort between 10 innovative high schools and 13 groundbreaking Hive NYC organizations to provide students with a range of opportunities that blend in-school and out-of-school learning with experiences that are production-centered and creativity-focused.

Providence: Since its creation in 2004, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) has built two citywide expanded learning models in collaboration with the City of Providence, the Providence Public Schools (PPSD) and the local community: the AfterZone for middle school, and The Hub for high school. These models offer Providence youth a coordinated schedule of in-school, after-school and summer learning programs for high school credit. Programs incorporate 21st century technology, and students create online portfolios of their work on http://hubprov.com/ . Through hard work, relationship building and years of trial and error, PASA has established itself as a critical component of the educational reform landscape of Providence by enabling students to drive their own learning experience.

[brief] Networked Innovation Interim Brief #2 – Innovation Practices and Hive NYC

As many of you following our work know, HRL has been working hard to put together a series of interim NI Brief 2 Cover Finalbriefs that allow us to make more transparent the research we’re doing within Hive NYC. We’ve released two so far, related to our Networked Innovation research strand, and another on our Youth Trajectories strand. Building on the first brief on innovation, which focused on innovations as “things” or products, this second brief on the subject moves begin conceptualizing innovation as a process, or, more precisely, as a set of practices that organizations engage in. We originally wrote about these practices here on the blog, and in the brief we refine our original framework, extended its discussion, and, most importantly, wrote up examples from the fieldwork we’ve conducted within Hive that give life to these practices. A big goal for us was to go from the theoretical ideas about innovation down to the practical level of what innovation looks like on the ground in Hive NYC. We hope you’ll read the whole thing, but as a teaser, here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

Hive NYC has as its tagline “explore+create+share”. It’s a sentiment that expresses many of the core principles the community holds in terms of its pedagogy – one in which youth explore interests and identities, engage in creation, production and expression, and then share this work in authentic contexts. But explore/create/share can also be seen as a loose framework for how those in Hive NYC, as educators, designers and activists, engage in the practices of innovation. It is these practices of innovation we focus on in this brief.

If course, if you have thoughts, feedback or questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. Part of our work in these briefs is testing the waters to feel out what has utility for Hive members in their own organizations, so any and all thoughts are welcome.

Hive Research Lab at the 2014 Digital Media and Learning Conference

Along with many of our colleagues from Hive NYC and many other Hive networks across the country, Hive Research Lab will be heading to Boston next week for the annual Digital Media and Learning conference. As many readers might be already be aware, the Hive Learning Network initiative emerged from the broader field of digital media and learning, building on the work of many pioneers in this space and centering its pedagogical commitments around Connected Learning, a research and design framework associated with this community. So, no surprise that Hive networks have a strong presence.

For those attending that want to check out the places where Hive Research Lab will be speaking, we wanted to share a round-up below:

If you’ll be going to the conference and would like to connect, keep an eye out and say hi!

[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.

Introducing our Jumpstart series! Jumpstarting Hive Pop-ups, Hack Jams and Maker Parties

As research partners of Hive NYC, we are invested in linking research to practice in order to address the network goals of supporting youth interest-driven pathways and strengthening Hive as a context for networked innovation. As part of that effect, we aim to regularly experiment with different kinds of knowledge production and sharing with the Hive NYC community. Here, we’re excited to introduce one of these experiments: HRL Jumpstarts, a series of tip sheets that we hope capture “good practices” of interest to the Hive NYC community. In essence, HRL Jumpstarts combine our fieldwork observations of Hive members doing their work and encountering challenges with our understanding of what existing literature recommends in order to come up with “conjectures,” or best guesses, as to what might support the work of the Hive.

Our first Jumpstart, available here and by clicking the image to the right, HRL-Jumpstarts_front_pageaddresses Hive one-day events, which include Pop-Ups, Hack Jams and Maker Parties, with suggestions for both the host of the event as well as participants who are manning tables or stations. Much appreciation to the über-talented Jess Klein for creating such a playful visual template for us. We hope the community finds the suggestions we pulled together useful — we welcome any and all feedback! Also, as we’ll be releasing other Jumpstarts in the future, please tell us what you think could use a good jump start!

Our process

As ‘working open’ is a value that we share with the Hive NYC network overall, below we provide a recap of the process we underwent to create this Jumpstart.

In early November, Rafi Santo and I brainstormed some guidelines for what could be included in Jumpstarts, based on articles we’ve read, things we’ve observed occurring in the Hive and conversations we’ve had with Hive members. The primary guideline was that each suggestion should support our two research strands: Supporting youth interest-driven learning pathways and furthering innovation in the Hive network. Our first brainstorm of potential ways to support day-long events produced far too many candidates, and in the end we decided that 16 suggestions was probably a good target number to shoot for. After several rounds of revisions, we landed on a reasonable first draft for feedback from the Hive community.

Hive Meet Up Jumpstart picAt the November Hive community meet-up at WNET, we debuted our “Cheat Sheet” (the original framing we’d come up with) to Hive members and the responses overall seemed to indicate that this would be a useful resource (phew!). We passed out hardcopies and had members meet in small groups to “hack” the cheat sheet for about 10 minutes, then we all came back together for a whole group discussion. The feedback everyone gave was fantastic and helped us see where there were points of confusion. We took notes during the discussion and collected all the sheets people had marked up and any notes people had taken on our behalf (thank you again!)

In early December, we took every piece of feedback from the meet-up notes as well as the “hacked” cheat sheets where people wrote their thoughts and put them all into a google doc, grouping similar points and adding “+1s” to ones we thought were especially valuable. If multiple people seemed to say the same thing, that also signaled us that that was an important issue to pay attention to (for example: changing the “cheat sheet” framing to avoid the perception that this set of tips covered everything about such events; another one was clarifying the two roles, event host and station facilitator, that we were making recommendations for). We then discussed the consolidated and prioritized feedback and tried to come to some sort of consensus around how to change our current version while still keeping it short, sweet and usable.

Come mid-December, we were ready for the fun part — making our content look pretty! Lucky for us, Jess Klein had some spare cycles to work out a template for us, coming up with several great options, including a “recipe”-like format that would allow folks to cut out various tips and use them like a deck of cards, as well as the version we ended up with, which featured an array of colorful hexagons (a Hive visual brand “go-to”). In the end, we really liked the playful and flexible aspect of the hexagon design. Also, because it doesn’t use a ‘bullet-list’ convention, it encouraged us to pare down our sentences as much as possible.

Since we now have a word template, we’ll be able to pump out future Jumpstarts a bit more quickly than this first one. We’re looking forward to sharing more down the line!

[brief] Networked Innovation Interim Brief #1 – Innovations and Hive NYC

Over the course of the coming weeks, Hive Research Lab will be releasing a series of interim briefs, short form writing based on early observations and conceptualizations that are designed to provide the Hive NYC community with ongoing frameworks, findings and recommendations related to the Lab’s two research areas: supporting youth trajectories and pathways, and developing the Hive as a context for networked innovation. The briefs are part of a broader effort to connect current research and emerging findings to issues of practical importance to the Hive NYC community in order to improve network activity. Recommendations are preliminary and based either on existing literature or observations of practice within the network, and we hope that they can serve to spark conversations both within member organizations as well as across the network.

Hive Research Lab - Networked Innovation Interim Brief #1 - Innovations & Hive NYC - February 2014 cover imageOur first brief, which speaks to our Networked Innovation research strand, builds off of earlier work we’ve done to think about what counts as an innovation, but in it we take more of the perspective of what this question might mean for Hive members, as opposed to for our work as researchers. We include a set of “dimensions” that can be considered vis-a-vis a given innovation, consider how these dimensions might have import in the Hive NYC context, and provide a snapshot of things that might be considered innovations, broadly speaking, within Hive NYC.

Of course, thoughts and questions are welcome! Link to the brief is here.