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Fan Activism and Community: Case Studies in Connected Learning

This collection of case studies features three communities that build on fan interests and engagement to unite, inspire, and drive social change. These communities include Harry Potter enthusiasts, StarCraft gamers, and wrestling fans who use their shared passions as springboards for creative production and building peer-supported communities of learning. In some cases, fans even leverage their shared interests toward activism and political action.

Each case study examines a different expression of fan activism or fan-centered connected learning; these examples include groups who raise awareness about problems of social equality, literacy, and human rights, as well as fan communities who foster academic and life-relevant skills such as digital media production, communication and management skills, and traditional academic skills such as writing. While some of the case studies focus more directly on supporting and empowering those within their community of fans, others harness their shared interests to change the world around them. 

Each case study focuses on how each group supports Connected Learning, which leverages the advances of the digital age to pave the way for more customized, student-centered learning. It is characterized by learning that is social, participatory, interest-driven, and relevant to the opportunities of our time.  

These cases were originally featured on Connected Learning TV with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Connected Learning TV now airs on the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator


Find other Connected Learning TV case studies and personal stories in these collections: 


Creative Commons Licence
Educator Innovator's picture
Collected by Educator Innovator
on May 16 2016

Resources in this collection

Day[9]TV: Elevating Game-Based Learning and Skill-Building
The Harry Potter Alliance: Connecting Fan Interests and Civic Action
WWE Fandom: Developing Academic and Life Skills Through Creative Production