April 11, 2014

A Network for Project-based Learning

Project MASH, a social network for learning, bridges the gap between informal and formal education

There's a lot be said for social networks, not all of it good. But as we learned in the past, the perceived perils of online engagement and social networking are often similar to what kids experience offline. And in fact, much of it's good. We can’t ignore the many skills students acquire by using technology to share their experiences, tell stories, or connect with issues that are important in their lives. With that in mind, the Pearson Foundation announced recently the launch of Project MASH, a new social learning network for teachers, students, and the organizations that serve them. (Point of pride and full disclosure, it’s our colleagues at the Pearson Foundation who also publish LEARNING STARTS.)

Project MASH builds on the ongoing efforts of the New Learning Institute, another Pearson Foundation program, to bridge the divide between classroom learning and real world experiences. In today’s digital world, that means an opportunity to reshape how and where learning takes places. On Project MASH students can make, play, design, and build, all in the context of the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and a handful of teaching strategies intended to foster deeper learning and engagement.

Teachers get free access to unique educational experiences being pioneered by the country’s leading informal learning centers—museums, arts institutions, science centers, afterschool and online programs, and educational game designers—and the project-based learning content at the heart of Project MASH can then be shared with other teachers and their students.

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