About Hive Learning Networks

Hive Learning Networks prepare youth to thrive in school, work, and civic life. We empower educators to build connected learning experiences and teach the digital literacy skills essential for young people to discover and shape their world

About Hive

Hives are comprised of organizations (libraries, museums, schools and non-profit startups) and individuals (educators, designers, community catalysts and makers). Together, they create opportunities for youth to learn within and beyond the confines of traditional classroom experiences, design innovative practices and tools that build the field for greater impact, and contribute to their own professional development within an active community of practice.

The Hive model is supported by three levels of engagement:


Organizations with shared learning goals unite to provide a fun, engaging event for youth as a first step towards exploring longer-term collaboration.

Hive Learning Communities

Community organizers with an interest in Hive’s core principles come together to begin putting connected learning tools and practices into practice through regular meet-ups and events.

Hive Learning Networks

Officially designated Learning Networks with an operational budget and staff commit to promoting innovative, open-source learning models in partnership with a communities’ civic and cultural organizations, businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and learners.

Who’s Involved?


Designers, makers, artists, technologists, librarians and teachers – anyone who, through the networked model, creates transformative learning experiences for youth.


Middle and high school-aged youth who learn through hands-on making and exploration with peers and mentors, while developing web literacy, digital skills and 21st century competencies key to employment, digital citizenship and future success.

Partners, technologists and entrepreneurs

These individuals and organizations recognize Hive Learning Networks as distributed learning labs and help develop new approaches and tools with learning innovators.

Core Principles

The organizations that make up Hive Learning Networks are engaged in a range of disciplines and serve diverse populations of youth. These organizations share values that are:

Creative & Innovative

They support inventive solutions and imaginative approaches to learning

Collaborative & Cooperative

Multidisciplinary teams have shared goal and objectives

Experimental & Catalytic

Their efforts nurture new ideas, new ways of working, and new partnerships

Relevant & Consequential

Their offerings address needs and potential of children, youth, and teens

Equitable & Open

They engage in a productive exchange of ideas and opportunities for all

Engaging & Participatory

Their efforts connect the personal with shared interests of the community to actively produce, create, design and test new knowledge

Key Conditions for Hive

Cities that nurture a Hive Learning Network both require and generate key conditions that encourage productive opportunities for connected learning. They include:


Young people willing and able to participate in Hive programs and activities, and a commitment to growing a community of youth to advise Hive operations and programs

Programming and Shared, Open Assets

Regular development of innovative learning programs and activities that contribute to free and shared assets for wide use and remix

Professional Learning Community

A community of youth-serving organizations and individuals committed to testing new ideas in a connected learning framework through web literacy and digital skills


A commitment to building, supporting and advocating for open technologies that better connect organizations, educators and youth

City or Metropolitan Area Presence

A strong and credible voice representing the Hive vision for learning at important events


Willingness to support, assist and incorporate research on the Hive model and its contributions to improved learning for youth and the network itself


Exploration of digital badges as a tool for highlighting the learning that takes place in informal spaces


Financing to support Hive administration and innovative programs