Last week, I stopped to chat with three students sitting together in our high school library. One of the students is a known parkour practitioner. While chatting, I learned that he has become a mentor to the other two, supporting them as they develop their skills and learn how to do parkour. Thinking about this, I realized that it is a small example of connected learning that happened naturally in our library. These three young men got to know each other while hanging out in our space and are now working together on a shared passion. I didn’t make this happen (my parkour knowledge is limited to an episode of The Office) but by providing a space where the students felt comfortable hanging out and connecting with each other, it happened organically.
This has inspired me to ponder what more I can do in my school library to provide opportunities for connected learning. Is connected learning happening in your library? Whether you are a connected learning expert or just learning about it, plan on attending the YALSA President’s Program at Annual 2014 to be a part of the conversation!