Connected Learning

This idea of connected learning seems idyllic. The inherent tension in the lines between my PLN and yours. The lines interconnecting. What is omitted? What remains to be cataloged or discussed in these networks? If all experience is potential source material for gleaning, appropriating, learning, instructing, and implementing, what would a PLN comprised of heartbreak or anxiety look like? The interstellar neural pathways that constitute how the brain uses and shapes information to learn.

Hearkening to tribal language, to the call for connection in an isolating network of HCI. As communication increasingly involves various technologies, we want to dream the invisible wires gives us direct access. Do they?

The possibilities for global communications are unprecedented and expansive. Do we feel connected?  According to Jenkins, “the core of connected learning [involves] three values: equity, full participation, and social connection.” Typically, these principles guide us in our individual knowledge pursuits as autodidacts navigating and augmenting our PLNs. We cull and curate and consume and create; we build a tower of Babel; we build a circus of content.

What fun to engage in a collaborative practice of sharing these ideas and interests. To develop networks of life-minded individuals is an aspiration. What happens when schools, museums, libraries, and archives unite to promote a new model of learning rooted in these collaborative principles, and reject the traditional model of greed, debt, and competition? Maybe I’m having a hard time separating the two, but it seems connected learning allows for a transformation not just of learning environments, but of whole educational systems.


Jenkins, Henry. (2012). Connected Learning: Reimagining the experience of education in the Information Age. Retrieived from

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Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at

3 thoughts on “Connected Learning”

  1. I think what you envision regarding connected networks is right. They will transform things across the board, not just the educational system, but business, economics, and politics as well. Their influence bolsters not just knowledge, but pragmatism and equality…all good things.


  2. So true – we really have no idea where things will go – how open they will become. Hoe EASY it will be to participate if we have the motivation. I want LIS professionals to always have that spark – the PLN feeds this.


  3. I agree – the transformation will be more than what people expect. Lovely choice of New Zealand National Library imagery there too btw 🙂


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