About Remake Learning
Igniting engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices
Remake Learning is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change.
Our network, established in 2007, is an open group of interconnected, creative, and innovative people and organizations in the greater Pittsburgh region. Our purpose is to spark and share best practices and new ideas, make it easier for neighbors and colleagues to help each other, reduce duplicative efforts in the region, and leverage resources collectively for greater impact. No one organization alone can transform teaching and learning to better serve today’s young people, so Remake Learning helps bring them together.
When learning is engaging, learners have the time, resources, support, environment, and encouragement to be active problem-solvers, creators, innovators, advocates, and citizens.
When learning is relevant, it resonates today with a learner’s interests, culture, context, community, identity, abilities, and experiences, while allowing room for exposure and growth. It also prepares learners for the future, in which interdisciplinary skills like creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration will be increasingly salient.
When learning is equitable, more supports and opportunities are afforded to those of greatest need. Based on national and regional research, this means particular attention is paid to working alongside, as well as uplifting and supporting the voices, strength, and potential of: learners in poverty; learners of color; learners in rural areas; girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math); and learners with exceptionalities.
History & Background
Remake Learning originated in response to the emerging reality that youth in the digital age are pursuing knowledge, developing their identities, and seeking support differently. Acknowledging the significance of this shift, the founding members of the Remake Learning Network sought to help educators in- and out-of-school connect with today’s youth and develop learning experiences that engage them deeply and equip them with knowledge and skills that are relevant to the world in which they now live.
In 2007, The Grable Foundation convened an interdisciplinary group of thought leaders and field practitioners from the region’s schools, museums, libraries, early learning centers, and out-of-school program sites. First adopting the name Kids+Creativity, this informal working group—fueled by coffee and pancake breakfasts—began meeting regularly, exchanging ideas, and collaborating on new initiatives. Ten doubled to twenty, and twenty doubled and then doubled again.
Together, the group engaged academics, artists, librarians, educators, technologists, and parents in thinking anew about 21st century teaching and learning.
In 2009, The Sprout Fund began providing catalytic support for new Kids+Creativity projects and programmatic partnerships—adding fuel to the fires of innovation. That same year, in order to catalyze innovative teaching in the region’s school districts, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit began awarding STEAM Grants to enable administrators and educators to reimagine learning in public school classrooms, labs, and library spaces.
In 2011, after several years of successful small-scale projects and flourishing interest in Kids+Creativity, The Sprout Fund stepped in to formalize the network, enhance the individual and collective capacities of all members, and create a sustainable support structure through a coalition of major regional and national funders.
What began as just a handful of people and organizations grew into the since-renamed Remake Learning Network.
In 2014, leaders across the Pittsburgh region reaffirmed their commitment and formed the Remake Learning Council, a blue-ribbon commission that brings together leading executives and learning scientists in business, higher education, public education, civic and cultural organizations, foundations, and government to strategically support the greater Pittsburgh region’s efforts to remake learning in all the places where children and youth learn.
In 2016, the Network took the Remake Learning movement to the public with the world’s largest open house for the future of learning, Remake Learning Days. This weeklong celebration featured over 250 hands-on learning events from makerspace open houses to panel discussions to drop-in coding events. Over 30,000 people from across the Pittsburgh region experienced the impact that Remake Learning has made on schools, museums, libraries, businesses, makerspaces, churches, and community centers. Since then, Remake Learning Days has become an annual showcase of the work happening to make innovative and interesting learning experiences available to every young person in the region.
With millions of dollars invested, thousands of children engaged, and hundreds of practitioners leading dozens of projects, Remake Learning continues to evolve as new members bring new ideas and new energy to carry this work forward.
We envision a future in which the creative members of Remake Learning support each other to ensure that learning is engaging, relevant, and equitable across projects, organizations, and programs.
In the greater Pittsburgh region, learning practices and environments will:
- Activate skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration so that learners are prepared for an increasingly technology-driven future. Learners are empowered to identify and solve problems that affect themselves and their communities; to fail, retry, and learn from mistakes; to express their creativity in authentic ways; and to both struggle and have fun.
- Challenge learners to question, examine, and dissect social systems; to develop the confidence to address and deconstruct inequalities; and to construct a more just and equitable world.
- Connect all the places learners live, work, and play, including schools, libraries, museums, parks, clubs, community centers, centers of faith, at home, and online.
- Encourage learners to explore and play and support them to follow their curiosity using varied tools (including, but not limited to, technologies).
- Derive from deep and caring relationships between learners and their families, peers, educators, and mentors.
- Connect learners to their communities and, in an interconnected world, help learners develop cross-cultural understandings that unlock opportunities to thrive both within and beyond their own communities.