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Learning through Play & Design: Personal Stories of Connected Learning

This collection of six personal stories documents the different ways that educators are utilizing aspects of play and design in their curriculums. Their hands-on approach to learning allows students to physically manifest their ideas by constructing, designing, and executing a plan to create something new, either on their own or as a collaboration.

These stories spotlight a range of different approaches to learning through play—from educators leading furniture design workshops for kids at the intersection of art and science to facilitators of Makerspaces where the debugging or tinkering required to overcome initial failure is a first step toward true learning. Each personal story delves into the creative ways that connected learning educators are utilizing play as a mechanism for growth.

Each personal story focuses on the different creative approaches educators are using to transform traditional curriculum and support 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 stories 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 Apr 29 2016

Resources in this collection

Ian Gonsher: Building the Conditions for Creativity in the Classroom
Sofya Zeylikman: Teaching and Learning at the Intersection of Science and Design
Jean Kaneko: Tinkering to Learn
Cas Holman: Creating Tools for the Imagination
Laura Fleming: Creating Spaces for Students to Make
Veronica Valenzuela: Experimenting With Code to Open Up Learning Pathways