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Friday, October 6 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Preparing Teachers for Connected Learning

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Preparing Teachers for Connected Learning

Panel Abstract 

While connected learning has its roots in informal learning in children’s and teens’ out-of-school spaces, there is a growing interest among teacher educators in the potential for connected learning to serve as a framework for developing learning experiences that enhance pre-service teachers’ agency around their own learning. At the same time, connected learning has the potential to transform teacher learning and professional development (Garcia et al., 2014; Smith et al., 2016). The connected learning framework’s three spheres of learning - peer supported, interest powered (student-designed), and academically oriented (Ito et al., 2013) - are powerful design elements when put to use with teachers. Connected learning environments such as CLMOOC, for example, position teachers as “designer[s]-in-context” (Garcia et al., 2014, p. 5) who collaboratively co-design classroom instruction, equitable and motivating learning environments for students, and their own professional learning. 

This panel highlights research on teaching and learning through and with connected learning in a variety of contexts related to teacher preparation, including pre-service teacher education, faculty professional development, and in-service professional learning. The projects offer insights into the ways in which the connected learning framework can be applied in practice, as well as point to challenges for applying the existing connected learning framework within the context of higher education. Taken together, these presentations provide a snapshot of the current research around connected learning and teacher preparation, and point to implications for future research, theory development, and practice.

Presenters and Presentation Titles 

Pre-service Teacher Experiences in the Connected Technology Education Classroom
Sarah Lohnes Watulak (Towson)

What does “Participation” Mean in a Connected Learning Classroom? Translating Theory into Practice in an Openly-networked Teacher Education Course
Kira Baker-Doyle (Arcadia), Latricia Whitfield (Arcadia), Katie Miller (Arcadia)

From Connected Learning to Connected Teaching: Toward a New Model of Digital Literacy Teacher Education
Nicole Mirra (Rutgers)

Connected Learning in Higher Education through Professional Learning Networks
Torrey Trust (UMass Amherst), Jeffrey Carpenter (Elon), Daniel Krutka (Texas Woman’s U.)

When Open is not Enough: Participatory Design for Connected Learning
Anna Smith (Illinois State), Christina Cantrill (NWP), Mia Zamora (Kean), Stephanie West-Puckett (East Carolina U)


Garcia, A. (2014). Introduction: Teacher agency and connected learning. In A. Garcia (Ed.), Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom (pp. 6-9). Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. 

Ito, M., Gutierrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., Schor, J., Sefton-Green, J., & Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. 

Smith, A., West-Puckett, S., Cantrill, C., & Zamora, M. (2016). Remix as professional learning: Educators’ iterative literacy practice in CLMOOC. Education Sciences, 6, 1-12. doi:10.3390/educsci6010012

avatar for Kira J Baker-Doyle

Kira J Baker-Doyle

Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
avatar for NIcole Mirra

NIcole Mirra

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Rutgers University
Nicole is a proud former NYCUDL debate coach and English teacher who is now a teacher educator at Rutgers University. Her teaching and research focuses on the intersections between critical literacy and civic engagement in classroom, grassroots, and digital spaces. Debate has shaped... Read More →
avatar for Torrey Trust

Torrey Trust

Associate Professor of Learning Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
My research focuses on how teachers use technology to enhance their own learning as well as their classroom practice. I am also interested in instructional design, 3D printing, makerspaces, and social media.
avatar for Sarah C. Lohnes Watulak

Sarah C. Lohnes Watulak

Associate Professor, Towson University
I'm interested in the possibilities for connected learning as a framework for the design of rich, technology supported learning in pre-service technology education courses.

Friday October 6, 2017 9:00am - 10:30am PDT
Doheny CD