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Designing for Informal Learning

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Jared O'Leary  
Research on informal learning spaces where people come together to engage in shared interests demonstrate practices and engagement educators could consider within formalized educational contexts. This post provides resources relevant to designing or modifying formalized learning environments to foster exploration of each student's interests within a shared space.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Ability to access and contribute to an online document.
Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

To help technology educators design spaces and engagement for informal learning, I will use a document like the following link to encourage discussions around each of the twelve characteristics: The purpose of this discussion is to not only introduce the different characteristics, but to discuss and share across the ISTE network how to apply such characteristics within a formalized educational context.


- 5 mins - Ask people to describe to a neighbor what they think of when they think of informal learning spaces. Share with the group some ideas that come to mind. Ask people to describe in the chat or in breakouts their experiences with communities of practices and how they might apply in formalized learning spaces. Share with the group some ideas that come to mind.
- 30 mins - Explain the framework we are discussing today came out of perceived shortcomings of communities of practice, as well as research about informal learning spaces and practices. Introduce each characteristic (one at a time) mentioned in the abstract and give people time to share with a neighbor their thoughts about the characteristic, share their idea on a google form, then share out loud one practical application of each characteristic in a CS classroom.
- 10 mins - Pull up a link so people can review what others submitted on the form, then have people discuss with a neighbor how they might combine these ideas within one space. Share out loud or in small groups.
- 10 mins - Discuss what my class looked like when I combined each of these characteristics. Play a video that models what my classroom looked like when I applied these characteristics and narrate out loud the different characteristics in relation to what's viewed on the screen.
- 5 mins - Provide a link for the presentation slides so people can find out more information about the topic and engage in Q&A.

Supporting research

The following sources inform the topic I will discuss in this session:
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