What is Connected Learning?
Connected learning engages learners in ways that allow them to link different dimensions of their learning environments: personal interests, peer relationships and opportunities. Connected learning pedagogies have been particularly successful in low-resource and marginalised learning contexts.
Why is connected learning important?
Recent international policies and agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, have underscored the importance of higher education for refugees. The demand for higher education is significant, yet only 1% of eligible refugee students are able to access accredited programs and do so mainly through scholarships. Higher education is one of UNHCR’s strategic priorities, and is in line with the organization’s Education Strategy, which aims to make life-long learning accessible to all.
In an effort to meet this demand for higher education for refugees (many of whom live in remote locations), this group of universities and organisations has implemented Connected Learning programs as possible solutions. We define Connected Learning as the development and exchange of knowledge and ideas among students and faculty through use of information technology that enables learning not bound by geographical limitations in contexts of fragility. It promotes authentic self-knowledge, embeddedness in local and global learning communities, adaptive critical thinking and new media literacies to nurture a culture of adaptive life-long learning. This is achieved through linking student interest to relevant, flexible, accredited and sustainable academic programs, creating interconnected learning communities and ensuring academic achievement through dedicated learner support.