Key Coverage

Library Learning Labs Use Connected Learning Principles To Draw Teens

The shift also comes at a moment when educators and researchers are rethinking how to use digital media to inspire lifelong learning, said Amy Eshleman with the Urban Libraries Council, who is helping support implementation of the 24 learning labs.

The guiding principles of the learning labs are based onanthropologist Mimi Ito’s research suggesting teens thrive in learning environments where “hanging out, messing around and geeking out” is encouraged. Also known as connected learning, it’s an approach that encourages teens to use new media to burrow deep into their passions and find ways to turn them into educational and economic opportunities.

“It’s all about engaging them in a space where they can be with peers, unpack their interests and get better at things they care about, and help them find a path from their passions to opportunities in the real world,” Eshleman said.