12281 BB: How Systematic Inquiry into Connected Learning Can Contribute to Equitable Access

06/11/2015 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
The Wiltern BC

Organizers: William Penuel, Katie Van Horne
Presenters: Michael Harris, Timothy Podkul, Kiley Larson, Nathan Dadey, Nichole Pinkard
Discussant: Vera Michalchik

This panel focuses on approaches to studying the quality of opportunities to learn for youth in connected learning. Examining equity and access in connected learning requires understanding which youth are participating and their access to opportunities to grow in interest-related pursuits. This panel opens up a dialog on what these opportunities look like, who has access to and participates in them, and what methods for studying connected learning can help inform equity and access issues in practice.

We examine youth participation in and across contexts through different approaches to studying the quality of connected learning experiences with a specific focus on equity and youth participation in connected learning from social and spatial perspectives. We present approaches to understanding youths’ access to interest-related pursuits across multiple contexts while examining outcomes such as expanded social capital. We also explore how young people themselves can engage in study of their own connected learning experiences. The panel will consist of five presentations, a discussant, and time for questions and discussion. The panel includes:

Critical Analysis of the Promise and Challenges of Youth Participatory Research

We critically examine the design and implementation of a youth participatory action research project that used Google Hangouts to connect geographically dispersed sites to study factors that create or frustrate young people’s equitable access to future employment in the creative sector.

Brokering, Mentoring, and Connecting: Youth Reflect on their Personal Networks

We describe the application of social network analysis (SNA) to engage youth in research and better understand how social capital, mentoring, and brokering influence youth engagement with connected learning activities. We illustrate how this method can help unpack outcomes related to Connected Learning principles, how these principles interact with one another, and how youth can benefit from engagement in SNA.

Taking an Open-source Approach to Create More Equitable Designs

Cities of Learning (COL) provide youth with opportunities to attend local programs, showcase talents online, and explore interest-based activities. We share our approach to understanding youth access and participation, especially in non-dominant communities, using GIS mapping and data mining of COL log data, highlighting the importance of sharing visualizations and findings with multiple stakeholders.

Access, Equity, and Potential Pathways: Mozilla Hive Learning Networks

We describe how teens are discovering and participating in programming run by organizations in the Mozilla Hive Learning Networks. Through the use of GIS mapping, surveys, and in-depth interviews, this work highlights how a mixed-methods approach helps document spatial and demographic patterns of access, connected learning experiences, youth academic outcomes, and exposure to potential career and academic pathways.

Quantifying Equity and Participation in Connected Learning

While connected learning experiences afford youth with numerous opportunities, it is unclear if participation in these experiences is equitable. Using hierarchical linear modeling we examine the relationship between youth participation, characteristics, and pursuits using survey data. Initial results suggest that girls participate less than boys with little difference across pursuits, while nondominant youth participate less overall and levels of participation vary across pursuits.

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