Learning wherever

Network1I’m delighted to announce that in a collaboration led by Richard Hudson from Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and with Sean Duncan of Indiana University, I will be starting a new project in the New Year focussing on affinity spaces.

Affinity spaces is a term coined by James Paul Gee to describe places (both virtual and physical) where informal learning can take place.  Affinity spaces have the ability to connect millions of learners. The goal of our project is to better understand and utilise the online environments where youth can develop deep interest and engagement in specific science topics and interact with others who share common interests.

“Online affinity spaces provide 24/7 access to like-minded thinkers and learners, which is crucial to the informal science community. Users can share and test hypotheses, gather data, debate results, and simply communicate with peers worldwide. Exploring how to better leverage affinity spaces will offer new connections for both informal science educators and students, and enrich the ways in which they view STEM—and themselves.” Richard Hudson (Principal Investigator)

This project is funded as part of NSF’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program, Science Learning+ (SL+). SL+ is a partnership between NSF and the Wellcome Trust. It funds projects that take transformational steps to inform, improve, and advance the knowledge bases, practices, and design of informal STEM learning experiences and environments. The long-term SL+ goals are to broaden participation in STEM and to better understand, strengthen and coordinate STEM engagement and lifelong learning.

Very kindly, Richard had this to say about my role in securing the funding:

“For this project, Carlton contributed valuable insights into games and learning, and made the critical connections with leading scholars in the UK who will work with us on the grant.”

I excited about this

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