A Focus on Policy & Research

Working Group
Digital Access for All Students
Goals:

Connecting every student to the online learning network, focusing on underserved rural and urban areas.

Working Group
Mapping the Digital Divide
Goals:

Map key aspects of the digital divide. Examine interplay of human and technological elements.

Working Group
Transformative Research Ecosystem
Goals:

Nurture a research ecosystem in support of Connected Learning.

Bridging the Divide

In the summer of 2013, President Obama challenged the nation to provide high-speed broadband Internet access to 99% of students within five years. This February, following up on his call to action, the President announced major progress toward realizing the ConnectED goal to get high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. The FCC and private sector are taking key steps to answer the President’s call. To see more about these key steps, click here.

Transformative Synergy

How can grant-making synergies be leveraged to create a transformative research ecosystem? Working group participant Dr. Stephanie D. Teasley of the University of Michigan is spearheading an investigation into how to coordinate funding for connected learning initiatives. The study will look at how to establish a framework for a funder’s ecosystem; develop an anchor community of collaborative learning funders; facilitate community growth; and increase the value of participation. The goal is the formation of a coherent set of education policies to direct the national discussion on education reform. Research and recommendations will be available in 2014.

Optimizing the Web for Learning

The Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet has released Learner at the Center of a Networked World, a report and recommendations for ensuring today’s students are at the center of, and have access to, safe learning inside and outside of the classroom—that prepare them for future success. This final report is the result of a national conversation on how to optimize the web to improve learning. The Task Force was led by 20 leaders in technology, public policy, education, business and online safety. Over 12 months, the Task Force discussed, collaborated and analyzed research. A report of the findings and recommendations are found here.

Youth CareerConnect (YCC): $100 Million Awarded

As part of achieving the President’s vision to prepare all students for success in post-secondary education and in a competitive workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the Department of Education, has established Youth CareerConnect grant. Across the country, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards will provide $107 million to local partnerships of local education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education and employer partners as they re-design the teaching and learning experience for youth to more fully prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including postsecondary education or registered apprenticeship. To read more, click here.

‘Make Learning Relevant’ 30-Day Campaign Announced

The Connected Learning Alliance launched a 30-day “make learning relevant” campaign on April 30, 2014. The campaign, focused on a learner-centered approach to education, came at a time of widespread agreement that education needs a dramatic upgrade. The campaign featured interviews with thought leaders, leading practitioners and college-bound youth who have experienced the benefits of connected learning firsthand. To learn more about the campaign, click here.