NYU Steinhardt and Indiana University Team Up to Explore “Lifewide Learning” Phenomenon of New York City Children

Children today are learning in-school and out-of-school, online and offline, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. They are “lifewide” learners.  Indiana University (IU) and New York University’s Steinhardt School have announced a $350,000 grant from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust to study this socio-educational phenomenon.

Hive Research Lab: Investigating and Supporting Hive NYC as a Regional Learning Ecosystem” is a two-year research collaboration between the institutions that will serve as an applied research arm for a system of out-of-school learning providers called Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network. The two universities will share innovative practices to help design extended experiences for youth.

“This project will work to create the first R&D facility for the Hive NYC,” said Christopher Hoadley, associate professor and program director of the educational technology graduate programs at NYU Steinhardt. “Unlike traditional evaluation, the lab will allow us to act as an internal research partner for this network that would not typically be able to do real-time research on its own.”

Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network is a city-wide system of educators, designers, scientists, technologists and other youth development experts who develop innovative learning experiences and prepare students for success in the digital age. There are currently 56 member organizations throughout the five boroughs of New York City that include museums, libraries, colleges, and non-profit organizations. Altogether, the Hive NYC network has impacted nearly 10,000 middle school and high school-aged youth over the past three years.

“We jumped at the opportunity to study and collaborate with such a dynamic network of organizations. We know that these new kinds of educational structures will be crucial to understand if we’re going to meet the learning needs of an always connected, hands-on generation of teens,” said Kylie Peppler, assistant professor of learning sciences at Indiana University. “Networks of out- of-school learning organizations have a great opportunity to create new kinds of opportunities for young people, and we’re hoping our work can support that process.”

In close collaboration with members of Hive NYC organizations, Hive Research Lab will gather empirical data and generate research insights that will support stronger outcomes for both the youth participants and the educational organizations associated with the network.

In the process, it intends to generate findings not only relevant to Hive NYC but also to other regional Hive learning networks in various cities, including Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Toronto, as well as those interested in educational issues that include mentoring, digital literacy, and interest-driven learning.

For more information about the Hive Research Lab (@hiveresearchlab), visit hiveresearchlab.org.