LRNG Cities create impressive learning opportunities this summer

- Kylie Peppler, Chief Learning Officer

For our LRNG Cities, it truly was a summer of innovation. In just a few short months, 12 cities across the LRNG network created and launched a whole range of passion-to-purpose playlists designed to engage youth in exploring and pursuing their passions and provide new opportunities to hone valuable skills for the 21st century workplace. From game development and fashion design to civic engagement and local governance, these diverse playlists combine online learning with real-life opportunities that connect youth to their communities as well as industry professionals in their field of passion. See what our LRNG Cities created this summer: An Introduction to Civic Engagement by Pittsburgh guides youth in identifying areas where public governance has the most impact on their lives and provides techniques for getting involved and making a difference through technology. The Playlist culminates with an XP that allows youth to apply their new skills by addressing Read More

Virtual exchange holds promise for refugee education

- Leila Toplic, LRNG CMO, @ltoplic

Across the globe, forced displacement has hit a record high — more than 65.3 million people, or one person in 113, have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. The United Nations’ Global Trends report notes that on average 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Of more than 21.3 million refugees worldwide, more than half are children. Trauma, poverty, social isolation, and a lack of access to education are creating a bleak future for a generation of young people who are being given little reason to hope for a better tomorrow. Helping this displaced generation find a sense of purpose and a path to a better future including employment is critical for their individual futures, their home countries, and our collective well-being as a global community.“We should start thinking of refugee camps and Read More

Summer of innovation

- Connie Yowell, CEO of LRNG (@Connie)

School is out for summer and LRNG has kicked into high gear. Thanks to our 12 LRNG Cities and a growing list of local and national partners and supporters, thousands of young people across the country are connecting to engaging and exciting learning and workforce development opportunities in their communities and online.As we build out our learning ecosystem, it is wonderful to witness how enthusiastically mayors, educators, organizations and corporations have embraced and enhanced the LRNG vision for redesigning learning for the connected age. Young people nationwide will have new opportunities this summer to pursue their passions and develop high demand workplace competencies and skills through online learning as well as through workshops, Turn Up events and summer jobs programs in our LRNG Cities. It’s been a busy quarter. During the three months since our last newsletter, LRNG has: Rolled out the first of many planned national Playlists co-designed by Read More

New Partnership to level up high school learning

- Connie Yowell, CEO of LRNG, @connie

Today at the 13th Annual Games for Change Festival, LRNG’s GlassLab Inc. announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive Software, 2K and Firaxis Games to bring Sid Meier’s popular Civilization V digital game to the classroom. CivilizationEDU will be distributed to high schools in North America in early 2017 through GlassLab’s nonprofit game-based learning and assessment platform.With annual Gallup polls showing more than 60 percent of high school students are not engaged in classroom learning, LRNG is excited to bring new educational tools to the classroom in formats students are already deeply engaged with.GlassLab Inc. will add a learning analytics engine to CivilizationEDU, harnessing the popularity of gaming and turning it into a powerful tool for assessing students’ progress on 21st century learning skills that are not easily captured on standardized tests.A historically based strategy game, CivilizationEdu will provide students with the opportunity to create historical events and experiment with the Read More

Summer of Opportunity

- Connie Yowell and Jessica Lindl

It’s hard to believe that just six short months ago, we stood together first in D.C. and then in San Francisco to announce the launch of LRNG. Our goals for this movement are as audacious as we believe they are essential, and the last half year has flashed by in a blur of heads-down hard work, leavened by our vision for how, working together with you, we can create an ecosystem to reimagine, redesign, and revitalize learning for young people who most need alternate paths to success. Thanks to our dedicated staff, our forward-thinking partners and supporters, and our incredible LRNG Cities, we are gearing up for a summer of opportunity for young people across the country. The first quarter of 2016 has been dedicated to expanding the LRNG ecosystem. Kicking off the year, we hosted Partner Summits in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco to onboard interested cities, organizations and Read More

Championing Workforce Opportunities for Youth

- Connie Yowell

In February, I was honored to stand up at the White House with LaunchCode, Philadelphia Youth Network, Microsoft, Hyatt, and other Champions of Change to tackle the problem of the summer “opportunity gap” for youth. While young people from more affluent and socially connected families spend the summer at camps and internships where they can build their skills and resumes, it creates an opportunity gap for many low-income youth that contributes to ongoing gaps in achievement, employment, and college and career success. Summer youth employment programs play a pivotal role in addressing the opportunity gap. A summer job serves as a launch pad for developing lifelong habits and skills for the workplace, however fewer and fewer youth can find them. Last July — the peak month for employment — just under half of 16- to 24-year-olds held a job. As a result, many youth find themselves in an ongoing Catch-22 where Read More

Co-designing a Brighter Future

- Connie Yowell and Jessica Lindl

As we head into the new year, I look ahead with hope and gratitude. Thanks to the many partners who are supporting our vision, the evolution of learning is firmly underway.Since launching in October, LRNG’s network of schools, businesses, cities, nonprofits and community institutions is quickly scaling up as we prepare for the national rollout of the tech platform next year. By bringing together existing in-school, out-of-school, employer-based and online learning experiences, the LRNG ecosystem will deliver immediate, transformative change to youth across the country by creating 21st century paths to success. LRNG has 30+ badging opportunities already in beta testing with youth advisors. Our team is co-designing Playlists with city, corporate and program partners for Spring 2016. And our engineering team remains on track to launch the LRNG youth platform next spring. In 2016, we will add 11 new Cities of LRNG nationwide for a total of 15 cities. Read More