No Such Thing: K12 Education in the Digital Age

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Connie Yowell & Kylie Peppler Talk LRNG

Ep. 46

In this episode I'm joined by two special guests and we're talking about a recent merger that may have gone unnoticed by many, but to me could be a tiny rumble before a tremendous shift that could rock education in a lot of ways. Here were some of the headlines:


New Merger Wants to Create ‘WeWork for Education’ Via Digital Badges and Mini-Campuses


Next for SNHU: Game-Based Learning and Digital Badges for Middle Schoolers


Southern New Hampshire University and LRNG Merge to Deploy Innovative Community-Based Education Strategy in Cities Across the U.S.


My guests are two critical players leading education reform, research, and practice in this country.


Dr. Kylie Peppler is an artist by training - Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at UC Irvine and engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, computational technologies and interest-driven learning. In addition to serving as the Director of the Creativity Labs at Irvine, Dr. Peppler is the Chief Learning Officer at Collective Shift/LRNG, the former lead of the MacArthur Foundation’s Make-to-Learn initiative, and a member of the 2016 and 2017 National Educational Technology Plan Committee, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Peppler was on the original NSF-sponsored Scratch team during the initial design and early study of the Scratch platform. Since this time, she has specialized in studying e-textile design with the LilyPad Arduino.


Connie Yowell is the visionary and CEO of Collective Shift, bringing considerable experience from the MacArthur Foundation where she oversaw a $150 million program on Digital Media and Learning.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Connie was an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, publishing scholarly work that examines the complex interplay among young people’s emerging identity, their social context and achievement. Connie briefly served as Policy Analyst in the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration, and has worked closely with teachers and administrators to develop programs for youth development.


In 2004, Connie received the Distinguished Fellows Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, an award to support scholars seeking to bridge research and practice, under which she worked with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers. Connie earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale, and her PhD from Stanford University.


My thanks to Kylie and Connie for joining. You'll hear a change in audio on Connie's mic mid-way through the interview...we had some technical difficulties with our connection, but persevered. Whether you agree with me that their story could be a taste of new education paradigms to come, I hope you'll join me in cheering them on. We need all of the brains we can get iterating toward a future where learning is accessible, connected, counted for everyone.


LRNG / SNHU Merger Press Release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/southern-new-hampshire-university-and-lrng-merge-to-deploy-innovative-community-based-education-strategy-in-cities-across-the-us-300734026.html

Mastery Transcript Consortium: http://mastery.org/

LRNG: https://www.lrng.org/

Souther New Hampshire University: https://www.snhu.edu/

Open Badges: https://openbadges.org/

Walk Out, Walk On - Book by Margaret J. Wheatley and Deborah Frieze: http://a.co/d/cFUsNUS

EdSurge Says: New Merger Wants to Create ‘WeWork for Education’ Via Digital Badges and Mini-Campuses: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-10-23-new-merger-wants-to-create-wework-for-education-via-digital-badges-and-mini-campuses

And the official press release headline was: Southern New Hampshire University and LRNG Merge to Deploy Innovative Community-Based Education Strategy in Cities Across the U.S.: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/southern-new-hampshire-university-and-lrng-merge-to-deploy-innovative-community-based-education-strategy-in-cities-across-the-us-300734026.html

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