Hive History

Building a global movement of connected learning networks

Putting Connected Learning into Practice

Situated in urban centers, Hive Learning Networks re-imagine how learning is organized and supported across youth-serving organizations. Through deliberate coordination and active mentors, Hive participants create learning opportunities that connect the three spheres of youth influence: peer culture, interests, and academics.

The first Hive Learning Network was created in New York City in 2007, with support from the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning initiative. It included a network of civic and cultural organizations that created a platform to help youth explore their own interests while tapping the insights and mentoring of the city’s leading scientists, designers, and artists. In 2009, the Hive Learning Network in Chicago was formed, also with MacArthur support.

These first two locations were designed to test the concept that museums, libraries, afterschool programs, community centers, schools, online communities, and other learning spaces could work together in new ways to allow young people to move seamlessly from one institution to the next, creating multiple entry points and pathways to learning.

A preliminary evaluation showed that teens who took part in the New York City Hive Network reported feeling more engaged in school and more confident in their digital skills. These preliminary, but encouraging, findings have spurred interest from others who wish to create new, innovative opportunities for young people to learn “anywhere, anytime.”

The third Hive Learning Network, in Pittsburgh, launched in 2013.

Additional Hive locations to be launched in 2013 include Toronto, Canada and Athens, Greece.

Learn more at and