Service Learning

According to Facing the Future, service learning is a teaching tool that ties academic curriculum to a service project that reinforces and expands students’ learning. Service learning helps young people connect their education to their own lives and the “real world.”


Elluminate is a web conferencing application which is easy to use and effective for large and small learning communities. With web, audio, video, and social networking embedded in an online meting space, this system makes collaboration, sharing, and most of all communication into 21st century educational experience.

Field Work or Field Research

Field Work and Field Research are generic references to collecting or creating new information outside of a laboratory or typical workplace/school setting.


According to Ted Sizer (1990) who is widely credited for re-invigorating Exhibitions in the late 1980’s:  “In its original form, the exhibition is the public expression by a student of real command over what she’s learned….It began in the eighteenth century, as the exit demonstration in New England academies and in colleges like Harvard. The student was expected to perform, recite, dispute, and answer challenges in public session. [If such a performance is well designed, Sizer points out, it elicits proof both of the student’s understanding and of some imaginative capability-it serves at once as evaluative agent and expressive tool.] “We expect people to show us and explain to us how they use content-it’s more than mere memory….It’s the first real step towards coming up with some ideas of their own.”

Blended Learning

Blended Learning is learning that happens in online and face to face environments.  NLENA’s Blended learning framework (below) creates a full learning ecology.

Networked Learning

Network Learning is a learning process where individuals establish an online identity and formulate relationships with other people and information to communicate and develop knowledge.

Learning Ecology

An ecology is an environment that fosters and supports the creation of communities. The definition applied to gardening applies well to learning communities: ““Ecological gardening is about gardening with nature, not against it.” A learning ecology is an environment that is consistent with (not antagonistic to) how learners learn. John Seely Brown has written extensively on the concept of a knowledge ecology. He defines an ecology as an open system, dynamic and interdependent, diverse, partially self organizing, adaptive, and fragile. This concept is then extended to include the following characteristics of a learning ecology: A collection of overlapping communities of interest; Cross pollinating with each other; Constantly evolving; Largely self organizing. Learning ecologies can certainly exceed the characteristics presented by Brown.

Place Based Learning

Place Based Learning is an educational approach that uses the most effective developments in teaching and learning to tackle critical issues of sustainability and community development in the actual context that young people are growing-up.

Project Based Learning

Project-based learning(PBL): is an approach that emphasizes learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary and student-centered. This approach is generally less structured than traditional, teacher-led classroom activities; in a project-based learning, students often must organize their own work and manage their own time. Within the project based learning framework students collaborate, working together to make sense of what is going on. Project-based instruction differs from inquiry-based activity by its emphasis on collaborative learning. Additionally, project-based instruction differs from traditional inquiry by its emphasis on students’ own artifact construction to represent what is being learned.

Situated Learning

Situated learning is learning that takes place in the same context in which it is applied.