Databite No. 51: Rafi Santo & Dixie Ching

Developing Open Networks for Digital Learning

09.10.15 - 12:00 pm

Data & Society
New York, NY

Databites are Data & Society's weekly lunch conversations focused on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to our community. To request an invitation, please email events at data society dot net.

Rafi Santo & Dixie Ching of Hive Research Lab (@hiveresearchlab) on Developing Open Networks for Digital Learning:

Early research on learning in online ecologies like fanfiction and gaming communities pointed to the power of open networks characterized by rich social practices to support learning, but at the same time showed a clear lack of access to such learning experiences for marginalized youth. This talk will explore how Hive Learning Networks, collectives of informal learning organizations across a city, aimed to build rich ecologies based on principles of open and connected networks to fill this void. Rafi Santo and Dixie Ching, of Hive Research Lab, will discuss their research on Hive NYC, exploring how Hives support youth in their technology interests and the challenges associated with building cross-institutional pathways in open learning networks. They’ve centered on the practice of ‘brokering’, and having institutions act as connectors for youth to experiences beyond their programs. Rafi and Dixie will also share findings around how Hives aim to operate as places where organizations are encouraged to ‘work in the open’, with work practices and organizational routines from the open source software world circulating into the discourse, and the attendant tensions associated for these organizations that come from a very different cultural location.


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