4 ways to make your course more engaging

New method called ‘Connected Learning’ aims to make courses more engaging for youth

engaging-course-connectedMobile technology and its use in the classroom is booming across the country; but outside of the ‘cool tech’ aspect, many educators struggle to understand why students find tech-connected classrooms more engaging. A new method of teaching and learning explains that it’s not about the technology–it’s about the four principles behind it.

Connected Learning, an educational approach designed by the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), says it harnesses the information age to make learning more powerful.

“For too many young people, particularly our most vulnerable populations, formal education is disconnected from other meaningful social contexts in their everyday lives,” explains AEE in a new brief. “The connected learning model posits that focusing educational attention on the links between different spheres of learning—peer culture, interests, and academic subjects—better supports interest-driven and meaningful learning in ways that take advantage of the potential of digital networks and online resources to provide access to an engaging learning experience.”

AEE cites a 2012 Gallup survey, which found that hundreds of thousands of students across the country are becoming increasingly disengaged in their education—especially high school students.

“Those who do not graduate from high school are not ready for [and do not seek] a college education,” notes the brief. College students who do not find courses engaging often are not ready for a career. Disengagement, emphasizes the report, not only comes with a price to the student, but to the economy.

(Next page: 4 ways to improve your course)