Indiana University, NYU receive grant to study, support out-of-school learning network

IU graduate researcher Santo, faculty member Peppler heading IU effort

Monday, July 29, 2013

In the 21st century, kids are learning in school and out of school, online and offline, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Today, Indiana University and New York University announce a $350,000 grant from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust to research a dynamic experiment in this sort of "lifewide" learning.

"Hive Research Lab: Investigating and Supporting Hive NYC as a Regional Learning Ecosystem" is a two-year research collaboration between IU project lead and graduate researcher Rafi Santo with IU School of Education faculty member Kylie Peppler, and New York University project lead and graduate researcher Dixie Ching with NYU faculty member Christopher Hoadley. The lab will serve as an applied research partner for a community of out-of-school learning providers called Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network, to help the network effectively share innovative practices with each other and design rewarding extended experiences for youth.

Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network is a citywide community of educators, designers, scientists, technologists and other youth development experts who collaborate to develop innovative learning experiences for youth to prepare them for success in the digital age. The 56 member organizations, including museums, libraries, colleges and nonprofit organizations, represent the five boroughs of New York City. Altogether, the Hive NYC network has directly reached nearly 10,000 middle school and high school-aged youth over the past three years.

In close collaboration with members of Hive NYC organizations, Hive Research Lab will gather empirical data and generate research insights that will support stronger outcomes for both the youth participants and educational organizations associated with the network. In the process, it intends to generate findings relevant to not just Hive NYC but other regional Hive learning networks in cities including Chicago, Pittsburgh and Toronto; as well as those interested in issues central to these educational networks including mentoring, digital literacies, interest-driven learning, and making and tinkering.

"We jumped at the opportunity to study and collaborate with such a dynamic network of organizations, and know that these new kinds of educational structures will be crucial to understand if we're going to meet the learning needs of an always-connected, hands-on generation of teens," said Peppler, assistant professor of learning sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. "Networks of out-of-school learning organizations have a great opportunity to create new kinds of opportunities for young people, and we're hoping our work can support that process."

"Our project will work to create a first-ever R&D facility for the Hive NYC," said Christopher Hoadley, associate professor and program director of the educational technology graduate programs at New York University. "Unlike traditional evaluation, the lab allows us to help act as an internal research arm for this network that would not typically be able to do learning research on their own."

About The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund

The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund was started by the MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust in 2010 to engage educators and young people in designing new and exciting ways to learn, create and participate beyond the classroom. Other contributors to the Fund include the Renate, Hans, and Maria Hoffman Trust; Mozilla; Stavros Niarchos Foundation and David Rockefeller Fund.

The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust awards grants to Hive NYC members every six months. The Hive Research Lab is one of 12 projects that received funding during this grant cycle, totaling $925,099. All grantees are members of Mozilla's Hive NYC Learning Network.

About the Indiana University School of Education

The Indiana University School of Education is consistently rated as one of the country's top higher education research and teacher preparation institutions. This year, U.S. News & World Report once again ranked the IU School of Education highly for its graduate programs. The school ranked 19th overall and 10th among education schools in public universities. Seven programs within the school placed in the top 25 for specialty programs. The school's online Ed.D., master's and professional certification programs were 14th in rankings that U.S. News released in January.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship and practice.