Is our learning production centered?

This blog post provides an update on the Co-Designing Privacy Badges project, funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Connected learning includes six core aspects. The term suggests that learning can relate to the interests of youth, involve a shared purpose and include opportunities for peer support. Connected learning can also relate to academics, involve open networking and enable youth to produce their own media, designs, or ideas. The idea of production centered learning was highly influential in creating design-based activities for peer researchers involved in the privacy badges project with Hive Toronto.

Graphic from Connected Learning Research Network and Digital Media & Learning Research Hub and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

On December 13th, 2014, the peer researchers were presented with an infographic on connected learning, as well as the following question prompts to collect their perspectives on whether their learning from the project was production centered.

  • Were learning activities for the open privacy badges workshops production centered?
  • What are your experiences with production centered learning from the workshops? Please feel free to share positive and/or negative experiences.

Here is a selection of their excerpts from their responses:

Production centered learning is basically hands on learning. It is focused on actively PRODUCING, CREATING, EXPERIMENTING AND DESIGNING. We did all these things during our workshops.   – Yasmine

[P]roduction centered activities tend to be “Hands-On”, where the individuals involved learn by doing instead of just listening. In these workshops almost all activities we have done have been fun interactive learning experiences.   – James & Hamza

In the past couple of weeks, all our activities have had two goals. Firstly, to learn about a specific topic within broader privacy [themes] and secondly, to create a product that puts to use what we’ve learned.  – Annie

We put our collected skills into action by making and remixing to express ideas.  [However,] sometimes the work that is put into the creation of a product outweighs…[other] learning.  – Tia

Whenever I participate in production centered learning, I feel much more engaged in the activity, thus allowing me to not only absorb and learn more, but to enjoy it too….Some of my favorite experiences have involved learning about things that I previously didn’t know about, or tackling some difficult challenges. Examples include making the comic, because we had to figure out [how] to re-size creative commons images and format text, or doing the IP tracker activity, since I had didn’t know much about IP addresses before the workshop.   – Andrea

Production centered learning has allowed us to take what we have learning about privacy and elaborate on it further, through various design activities. The best thing about production centered learning is being [able] to collaborate with one another and really feed off each others’ ideas…. This allowed me to broaden my perspective around how my peers view…privacy.                    

– Jarsmeka

Outside of our workshops, we work on research task[s], and one of them was to create a video either of Privacy Officers or our Data Trail Timeline. We used Popcorn to do this and I chose to do mine on my Data Trail Timeline. This project encompassed all 3 steps in the process of production-centered learning, because I had to design the structure of my video, I had to experiment with various objects I could use (text, videos, audio), and I finally created the video…a finished product.  – Sarth

The peer researchers were generally positive in their descriptions of production centered learning in the privacy badges workshop.

Although the youth reflected positively on their experiences, challenges lie ahead in translating activities into written curriculum that can successfully be delivered in informal learning settings such as community centers, libraries, or after school programs. Accessibility to laptops, digital devices and internet connectivity can vary in these settings where programming may be delivered.

Some minor spelling corrections were made in the quotes from youth.