P2PU Brings Open Online Learning to Chicago Public Library

Chicago Public Library and Peer 2 Peer University are excited to announce a new initiative to support online learning in local libraries.

While online education offers significant promise, the lack of peer-support and face-to-face learning options are often barriers to successful participation, especially for newcomers. To address this, P2PU and Chicago Public Library are developing a program of in-person study groups and associated tools, to support free online learning in libraries.

The project was named a winner today of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries, which funds projects that provide new tools and approaches for leveraging libraries to build more knowledgeable communities. P2PU received a 150,000 US$ grant to develop and scale this innovative approach to online learning within the Chicago Public Library network.

“Our libraries offer great opportunities to nurture learning and foster more engaged communities. This project will see us leverage the potential of libraries to deliver on the promises of online education,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon.

Philipp Schmidt, P2PU co-founder added “P2PU has a long history of using technology to enable peer-to-peer learning online. We are excited to apply our work in the service local communities by partnering with Chicago Public Library. Online learning and public libraries are a powerful combination to foster knowledgeable communities.”

The project will assist participants through the library’s familiar resources and leverage Peer 2 Peer University’s experience in building online communities; it will also include reinforcement and feedback from fellow learners.

Peer to Peer University (P2PU) is a leader in building successful, active, learning communities online. Chicago Public Library is a nationally recognized leader in using technology to innovate the role of the library.

Online Learning @ The Public Library will be piloted at CPL in Spring 2015. For more information, visit our project site here. Not in Chicago, but keen to get involved? No problem. We’re discussing the project with other communities here.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org. Contact: Anusha Alikhan, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, alikhan@knightfoundation.org

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