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.
Amount: $24,200 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.
Amount: $22,669 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.
Amount: $22,412 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.
Amount: $21,884 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.
Amount: $21,000 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.
Amount: $19,000 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.
Amount: $12,500 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.
Amount: $3,000 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.
Amount: $10,000 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.
Amount: $10,000 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.
Amount: $10,000 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.