Connections-based Learning changes the question from "How can we learn this?" to "Who will engage with us in learning?". This leads to a drastic change in the way we teach. In order to make this fundamental shift, the research has to be sound.
In the book, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, Bransford et al. posit a new theory of learning from new research techniques. As they look at the science of learning, their recommendations for teacher practice include connections to helpful outsiders, working scientists, and communities of learning.
Willms, Friesen, and Milton (2009) developed a measure of student engagement and gathered student engagement data from 93 schools. From their research, they make recommendations that students solve real problems, learn from the community, and connect with experts and expertise.
In Videoconferencing for Global Citizenship Education: Wise Practices for Social Studies Educators - Daniel G. Krutka & Kenneth T. Carano we find tremendous support for the use of videoconferencing in the classroom. "More than ever, we are all connected as many local problems are global and global problems are local. Whether we aim to address environmental concerns, reduce prejudice, or pursue specific projects to make a better world, videoconferencing can transcend geographic boundaries and provide an impetus for action. When students can listen to, and see, peers from across the world share their perspectives, challenges, and hopes, they can grow as global citizens who understand issues in new ways. When used well, videoconferencing allows students a passport around the world, opens their eyes to their place in it, and their responsibility to care for the earth and each other." - p. 130
The Connection Lens hits #1 Best Seller in Educational Reform on Amazon.ca.