Learning by doing. Youth choice. Open technologies for digital mapping.
These are a few of the approaches that the Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at The Chicago Community Trust (soon to be part of the Chicago Learning Exchange) promotes, in order to create relevant and challenging learning opportunities for teens in Chicago.
Today, the Fund is excited to announce grants to 11 collaborative projects totaling $176,665 to ensure that Chicago youth from all backgrounds have access to rich learning opportunities; educators have development and training to shift practice; and we provide systems to support the city as a learning ecosystem.
Through this work, we believe that technology is not the goal—it’s a means by which we are changing the way we teach and learn. The Fund does promote digital media and technology tools, because we care about rethinking learning.
With LRNG: CHI—a digital learning and badging platform—and the Hive Chicago Learning Network—a community of over 100 youth-serving organizations and educators—we ask critical questions: How might we create learning opportunities that ignite a young person’s passions? How might educators create curricula that resonates with a young person’s life? How might we create an infrastructure to connect and broker learning experiences across Chicago?
Technology is not the goal—it’s a means by which we are changing the way we teach and learn. The Fund promotes digital media and technology tools because we care about rethinking learning.
Through the Fund, digital learning partners are working to turn “how might we” statements into action through the following grants:
- Bridging Community and Hive: Developing the Austin STEM Learning Center will convene Austin community stakeholders about the STEM Learning Center, and offer two summer STEM pilot programs serving middle and high school students.
Lead: Project Exploration
Partners: Columbia College Chicago/Scientists for Tomorrow, Chicago Architecture Foundation
- ChronoCurrency Pilot: Reclaiming Time As Money will pilot the use of a timebanking exchange in youth development as an alternative to financial currency.
Lead: Chicago Parks Foundation/North Park Village Nature Center
Partners: CoderSpace, Kola Nut Collaborative, Chicago Youth Centers, MOSAYEC, El Valor Center
- Inquiry-Based Connected Learning will provide a series of professional development sessions to 50 teachers on how to incorporate interest-driven, peer feedback and iterative learning practices.
Lead: Northeastern Illinois University/Center for College Access and Success (CCAS)
Partners: Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, University of Chicago/Ci3Game Changer, Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence, Mikva Challenge
- ASN STEMbassador Learning Community will pilot a professional development series for both in-school and out-of-school educators to learn hands-on learning activities concepts such as game design, robotics and making.
Lead: Alternative Schools Network
Partner: Northeastern Illinois University/Center for College Access and Success
- Working through SCALE (Sustainable Collaborations Across Living Ecologies) will focus on teaching and engaging teens about citizen science through data collection, digital mapping and open-sourced sensors.
Lead: Sweet Water Foundation
Partner: Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
- Mental Health // Empowerment Design Challenge – Activate Impact will work with schools to create and market holistic and positive messages (e.g. “You Are Beautiful”) created by and for teens.
Lead: Commonwealth Foundation
Partners: Contexture Media Network, Chicago Public Schools, Noble Charter Schools
- High Flying Connections will pilot a train-the-trainer approach to create and build drone clubs with two community-based organizations.
Lead: Agape Werks, LevelUp
Partner: Hyde Park Art Center
- Education Equity Curriculum Development Research Phase will host classroom-based focus groups and plan a youth-driven methodology and curriculum that highlights a 1963 youth boycott to protest racial segregation in Chicago Public Schools.
Lead: Mikva Challenge
Partner: Kartemquin Films
Youth Digital Media Activism special opportunity grants: These grants support projects that bring together youth media creators and youth organizers in order to leverage and exchange organizations’ expertise to address issues within their community.
- Suffrage at 16: Civic Engagement Tailored for Youth by Youth will work together to highlight and create media campaigns around VOTE 16—an initiative to lower the voting age to 16.
Lead: Community TV Network (CTVN)
Partner: VOTE 16 Illinois
- La Villita Community Reporters will work together to exchange, document and build intergenerational journalism and civic participation through a community news portal called Little Village Community Portal.
Lead: National Museum of Mexican Art/Yollocalli Arts Reach
Partner: Enlace Chicago
- Cook County Jail Video Project will work together to produce, document and edit youth narratives about a voting rights program housed in Cook County jails.
Lead: Urban Gateways/Street Level Youth Media
Partner: Chicago Votes
In January 2018, stewardship of the Hive Chicago Learning Network transitioned from Mozilla to a new local nonprofit dedicated to connected learning and digital equity. That new nonprofit is called the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX). Learn more about that transition here.