August 4, 2021

Highlights From the 2021 Connected Learning Summit

Category: Connected Learning
Highlights from CLS2021

The 2021 Connected Learning Summit, held virtually July 7-30, 2021, featured over 220 sessions and connected nearly 900 speakers and attendees from over 30 countries around the world. In addition to formats from past in-person CLS events such as Showcases, Ignites, Research Papers, Workshops, Hall of Failure, Tech Demos, and Well Played, the event included online social lounges and affinity group meetings, as well as new experimental formats tailored to online engagement and networking. In alignment with our community values and emphasis, the event was run on the open source and nonprofit-driven Clowdr conference platform.

Opening Plenary

The event kicked off with a Plenary panel “Connecting Learning During Pandemic Schooling–Three Views from the Field,” featuring Tiera Tanksley, Justin Reich, and Elizabeth Losh discussing lessons learned during the pandemic from the point of view of racial justice movements, K-12 education, and higher education.
Watch the conversation:


CLS2021 included keynote talks by Wiradjuri educator, artist, and researcher Jessa Rogers; games and Black cyberfeminist scholar Kishonna Gray; and anthropologist of internet culture Crystal Abidin.

Crystal Abidin

Drawing on over a decade of research on internet celebrity and social media pop cultures in cultural East Asia, alongside A/Prof Crystal’s forthcoming book TikTok and Youth Cultures (2022, Emerald Publishing) and her work with international collaborators in the TikTok Cultures Research Network, Crystal’s keynote, “TikTok, Youth Cultures and the East Asian Influencer Industry,” considers the evolution of TikTok and Youth Cultures in the East Asian Influencer Industry.

Watch now:

Kishonna Gray

In her talk, “Intersectional Design: Are We Ok With Learning By Failing?,” Dr. Gray discusses what intersectional design and intersectional technology looks like and how this imagining often ignores intersectional concerns. By exploring gaming technologies that have failed and succeeded at intersectionality, Dr. Gray imagines the possibilities and potentials of incorporating intersectional design thinking into the core of what we make and how we think.

Watch now:

Jessa Rogers

In Jessa’s keynote, “Indigenous Reflections on Connected Education,” she shares her journey working across a variety of settings to amplify the voices of students who are experts in their own lives and experiences, using digital media and Indigenous knowledges.

Watch now:

Ignite Talks

And finally, the Connected Learning Summit would not be complete without the fast-paced, fun, and informative ignite talks. Watch all eight of the ignite talks below.

Round 1:

Round 2: