Remix World

[ 0 ] February 8, 2010 |

‘Distributed learning’ does not mean abandoning schools. Rather, a model of distributed learning demands that we understand and support the relationships between different forms and settings of learning. We know from empirical research that many youth engaged in creative and academic agendas often turn to online networks because of the diversity of resources, expertise, and knowledge they can access beyond their local boundaries. However, we also know that many of these youth are rarely able to link these experiences back to their school’s requirements or records (Ito et al., 2009).

Designers and developers of next-generation learning experiences need to think not only about tools that can help students make intellectual connections between different learning opportunities but also technologies that can create institutional pathways between learning opportunities and learner outcomes.

Remix World grew out of an ambitious youth media initiative in Chicago, the Digital Youth Network (DYN). DYN has been working for five years to support hundreds of Chicago youth in developing 21st-century skills in the after-school space as well media arts courses. In the organization’s effort to support youth in building critical skills and developing their technical abilities across various media, it became apparent that their supports needed to extend beyond the classroom. They realized their students were immersed in learning 24/7, whether online, at home or hanging out with friends, and they needed a safe and focused platform to connect this learning. DYN created Remix World, as a platform for organizations similar to their own, to leverage the power of social networking to extend learning and mentorship opportunities with youth.

Remix World offers standard social networking features such as blogging, discussion forums, status updates, profile pages, newsfeed and messaging, but it also offers a variety of other features: a virtual currency and point system for quality content; collaborative authorship of video, music, design and games; structured debate; custom ratings; interest-driven groups; and curriculum management.  In the future, DYN plans to add online portfolios, self-paced learning modules, mobile device support and more.  You can also find Digital Youth Network on Facebook.

Remix World is a promising platform for the kind of distributed learning tools we’d like to see more and more institutions adopt as a way of capturing and assessing young people’s learning across multiple contexts and media.

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Category: Extended Learning, K-12, Social Networking

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