< Webinars

Out-of-school centers and activities meet many needs in societies around the world. What effects and impacts are they having on formal education institutions?

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (07:29) Although these kinds of [out-of-school] centers exist in many countries around the world, I think that different countries have different expectations of what these kinds of centers can achieve, and how they can be sustained within different local contexts.
  • (10:02) One of the things about these out-of-school centers is they tend to use school as a kind of benchmark against which they measure themselves. They play with the way that school is organized in order to set themselves up differently.
  • (12:06) One of the real problems…in thinking about learning in out-of-school is: the more that we get involved in researching and studying and following the learning that’s going on there, the more we run the risk of formalizing the informal.
  • (15:21) It’s actually very difficult to get assessments of what might be thought as “the average quality” of a day or a session at a community center. How do we have any sense of whether learning might be quite good but not good enough?
  • (21:49) How could we assess learning…differently in a way that might reflect what we actually believe is “learning”?
  • (26:17) To what extent (if at all) do these “not-school”, informal, out-of-school learning spaces provide opportunity to define learning in very different ways?
  • (29:02) We do need new methods for tracking learning over time. Not just based on outcomes that we see in the lives of young people five-to-ten years later as they’re experiencing life-changing events, but also tracking the products themselves that they create and that notion of “digital afterlife.”
  • (34:46) To what extent should out-of-school space learning organizers document results, structure the learning, and assess achievement? The idea that we need to measure outcomes and manage learning: to what extent does that mess with or confound the original function of informal learning?
  • (38:40) Thinking about credentialing, when it feels like a token, school-like activity, is kind of weak. But, absent of that, how do we offer an alternative to kids who are maybe not acquiring those credentials through the more traditional channels?
  • (42:02) I think we tend to focus on kids for assessment…I’m wondering if maybe the methodological issue is not necessarily studying a single young person, but trying to think about ways in which a methodology could capture relationships?
  • (45:35) There’s a larger political question about how we can make forms of qualification more equal with each other, and give credit and value. Otherwise, you’re just going to have a dual system of qualifications.
  • (47:08) It is very interesting to look at these “not-school” programs or spaces in communities where young people don’t usually have access to technology in their home environments. So, “not-school” becomes a place to access…this issue of the differences in access becomes crucial for these not-schooling practices.
  • (50:02) As we begin to think about the importance of “not-school” and these kinds of spaces, how should we also keep the role in context in relationship to these other pathways and opportunities for young people beyond school?
  • (54:44) I think one of the joys for youth is that they get to experience multiple cultural contexts. This idea of extending the school day and keeping kids longer in a single context is devastating to me…They should have the right to explore these non-school spaces to see if they work for them.
  • (56:19) What does it mean to “be successful” in out-of-school spaces? And how can adults support youth in reaching their goals?

View the Conversation
During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.

Guests for this webinar included:

Resources for this webinar:

#ConnectedLearning Discussion on Twitter

Upcoming Events


NAMLE National Conference

In response to the current political discourse and the growing urgency for active civic participation, The National Association for Media... Read More

@INNOVATES_ED Twitter Feed