The YOUmedia Learning Labs Network believes that access to high-quality educational experiences is a basic right of all learners and a cornerstone of equity. We work in partnership with institutions, organizations, and communities nationally to develop and sustain leadership for educational improvement. Throughout our work, we value and seek diversity—our own as well as that of our students and their communities—and recognize that practice is strengthened when we incorporate multiple ways of knowing that are informed by culture and experience.
The YOUmedia Learning Labs Network consists of individual Learning Labs who convene regularly (in-person and through the internet) to build resources on behalf of the network, share best practices, and collaboratively problem solve.
What are YOUmedia Learning Labs?
The labs are creative, transformative, and dynamic spaces. With a commitment to equity and digital inclusion, they expand opportunities for interest-driven learning by youth. YOUmedia Learning Labs are centered around production and guided by a core philosophy that youth are best engaged when they are discovering and following their passions, collaborating with others, and being makers and doers.
YOUmedia Learning Labs put Connected Learning into action.
YOUmedia Learning Labs come in many shapes and sizes and can be found in libraries, museums, community centers, and school settings. Although individual sites may address these qualities differently, these features define YOUmedia Learning Labs’ aspirations and are a core focus for programming and the community of practice.
YOUmedia Learning Labs share the following hallmarks:
- Provide a balance of opportunities for hanging out, messing around, and geeking out (HOMAGO);
- Provide multiple ways for a diversity of youth to engage within the program space;
- Prioritize a culture of equity, inclusion, and youth leadership;
- Give access to tools, technology, and people who support learning, self-expression, creativity, critical thinking, and innovation;
- Employ mentors who are dedicated to the YOUmedia approach;
- Design clear pathways and opportunities that enable youth to apply skills in meaningful ways.