TERC Researcher Authors Chapter on Learning Community Design Practices

January 13, 2010



CAMBRIDGE, MA–Elisabeth Sylvan, Project Director, has written a chapter in The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities—the most recently published addition to the Teachers College Press’ Technology, Education-Connections series. The book focuses on the “Computer Clubhouse”—a network of over 100 after-school computer learning centers located in underserved areas around the world. The centers inspire young people to think about themselves as competent, creative, and critical learners as well as serve as a model for other community centers interested in creating informal learning environments.

Sylvan’s chapter examines the “Village”, the Clubhouse’s longstanding, private online community. On the Village members can create a profile, and share their own artwork, music, videos, and comments, as well as collaborate on projects with other members across the world. The chapter describes how the design of the Village balances the need for members to make thoughtful social connections with the need for them to share their creative work. The Village empowers young people to use technology imaginatively and have their creations and ideas be recognized in a global forum. Sylvan shows how the Village is a model for others who are interested in the design of learning communities.

The book, edited by Yasmin B. Kafai, Kylie A. Peppler, and Robbin N. Chapman is available for purchase online here through the Teachers College Press website.