P2PU and Chicago Public Library’s Learning Circles Project are featured in the recently released 2016 U.S. Department of Education National Education Technology Plan, the flagship educational technology policy document of the United States.
Examples of organisations using technology to transform learning were drawn from expert interviews, stakeholder focus groups, and recommendations from education leaders across the country. From that process, the 2016 NETP recognized P2PU and CPL and their work on Learning Circles as exhibiting some of the actions and attributes key to transforming learning through technology.
The 2016 National Education Technology Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible. While acknowledging the continuing need to provide greater equity of access to technology itself, the plan goes further to call upon all involved in American education to ensure equity of access to transformational learning experiences enabled by technology.
“Technology has the potential to bring remarkable new possibilities to teaching and learning by providing teachers with opportunities to share best practices, and offer parents platforms for engaging more deeply and immediately in their children’s learning. It can change the experiences of students in the most challenging circumstances by helping educators to personalize the learning experience based on students’ needs and interests—meeting our students where they are and challenging them to reach even higher. This year’s update to the NETP includes a strong focus on equity because every student deserves an equal chance to engage in educational experiences powered by technology that can support and accelerate learning, “ said US Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
P2PU and Chicago Public Library, with funding from the Knight Foundation, have been running Learning Circles in 14 CPL branches since the Spring of 2015. Learning Circles are lightly-facilitated groups who meet together face-to-face in library branches to work through online course materials and MOOCs from a variety of online learning providers. Groups have met to study fiction writing, introductory courses to HTML, public speaking skills and GED Prep mathematics, among other topics. The Learning Circles model has shown that face-to-face learning results in improved levels of confidence for learners, and higher retention and completion rates than in online-only courses.
Visit http://tech.ed.gov/netp to read about Learning Circles n the 2016 National Education Technology Plan.
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