August 27, 2018 | Comment

Teacher Educators Living the Connected Learning Life

Category: Connected Learning
Kira J. Baker-Doyle presenting at the 2018 connected learning summit

It was perhaps inevitable. A bunch of die-hard connected learning scholars, all working in our own institutions, separated by space, time, and borders. Studying about how people learn through connecting, yet totally isolated ourselves. Like shards of a magnet, we found each other, all reaching out for community, comradery, and connection. And finally, after years of “shouldn’t we get together” and “why don’t we collaborate,” we did: we came together to form the Connected Learning in Teacher Education (CLinTE) network in 2017. We were in such a rush to begin the work, we had no time for a prettier name, we simply became what we practice: CLinTE.

Like any good effort, CLinTE started with some questions:

  • How do you teach connected learning in to pre-service (and in-service) teachers?
  • What do we mean by equity in connected learning?
  • How do you use connected learning as a research framework?
  • What is a connected learning pedagogical practice?

Determined to live the connected learning life, we decided that to study our questions, we must make together. So, working groups were formed: Pedagogy, Scholarship, Community, Development. Each of these working groups have taken on projects that are central to our interests and driving questions.

Some highlighted ‘makes’ from the past year include the CITE journal Special Issue on connected learning, which includes a special effort made to curate all articles ever written about connected learning and teaching, joint research presentations at DML 2017 and AERA 2017, and international moderated #CLinTE twitter chats. For more about last year, take a peek at my Ignite talk, Sparking A Revolution in Teacher Education: The Birth of CLinTE (Speaker 3).

At the Connected Learning Summit this year, CLinTE hosted a meet-up to invite more members and launch several exciting new projects. Below are the descriptions:

  • Pedagogy Group: This group is working to collectively design and teach a Marginal Syllabus on Pedagogies of Connected Learning. The Marginal Syllabus project is a great opportunity for teacher educators to collaboratively teach about connected learning across their university courses.
  • Scholarship Group: This group will lead the second #CLinTE Virtual Writing Retreat on September 7th, 2018. It is virtual because there will be on online presence throughout the day on (10-4:20 ET), and participants can drop in and out as fits their schedule and interests. It’s a great opportunity for feedback and brainstorming sessions with other education scholars that study teacher education, connected learning, and/or equity in education.
  • Development Group: One topic we hope to bring to the forefront of conversations in the connected learning scholarship community is how equity, power, representation, and marginalization operate in digital spaces, and how to address these issues in our work. So, this group is working to develop a virtual speaker/conversation series about these topics.
  • Communications group: This group is working on organizing upcoming #CLinTE twitter chats in October and November, and a newsletter about CLinTE work. We’re also working closely with teacher leaders in the National Writing Project network to collaborate around developing pedagogies of connected learning.

We believe that teacher education is a critical issue in the future of connected learning work and research.  We’re excited about the strong interest that the connected learning community has in engaging in these questions and projects. If you are reading this, and feel like a lost magnet shard in the world of connected learning research on Teacher Education, come join us – we’re living la vida CL.