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DML Playlists for Learning Challenge: Office Hours and Webinars

DML Playlists for Learning Challenge: Office Hours and Webinars

We’ve put together several online events to help you prepare your application:


Archived Recording: Playlists for Learning Information Webinar: March 30, 2016
Archived Recording: Designing Connected Learning Playlists with Badges: April 20, 2016

Office hours:

Archived Recording: Playlists for Learning Challenge Office Hours #1: April 13, 2016 
Archived Recording: Playlists for Learning Challenge Office Hours #2: April 27, 2016
Archived Recording: Playlists for Learning Challenge Office Hours #3: May 5, 2016

About the Playlists for Learning Challenge

Transform curriculum design and learning for our connected age.


A total of $700,000 in awards will be granted in two funding categories:
Level 1: awards up to $50,000
Level 2: awards from $50,000 to $125,000


DML Competition 6 will accept applications beginning April 4, 2016. Final applications are due May 13, 2016 at 5pm PST. Winners will be announced in late July 2016.

Former DML Competition winners are eligible to apply.  For full information and to apply, visit

The sixth and final DML Competition -- Playlists for Learning --  encourages proposals that promote creative, interest-driven playlists that advance connected learning opportunities for youth ages 13 and up. Successful applicants will create innovative and transformative learning playlists composed of existing or newly created learning resources and experiences that bring proven connected learning activities and events to scale. Proposed learning should be made verifiable and credible with the use of digital badges.

A connected learning playlist is a curated group of digital and local connected learning experiences and resources (e.g. videos, websites, books, games, articles, etc.). A playlist weaves together these learning experiences and resources into a sequenced pathway centered on a common theme. They broaden opportunities to engage in cohesive, interest-driven connected learning experiences that combine in-school, out-of-school, employer-based, and online learning.


Twitter: @dmlcomp, #DMLplaylists

Curious if you should apply? Check out these hypothetical examples:

Example: Math, Engineering, and Physics

A school district in a rural town creates a playlist to supplement traditional high school in-class physics and mathematics curricula. Designed to walk students through the creation of a Rube Goldberg machine, the playlist provides opportunities for students to deepen in-class learning and demonstrate skills through the completion of a series of sequenced learning modules hosted on the district’s online learning platform. Digital content modules address research methodologies for ideation, online physics, mathematics, and engineering principles, as well as providing a guide for model development, prototyping, and product pitching. District-wide, in-class maker labs that invite external community design resources round out the playlist, offering opportunities for peer collaboration and team building and effectively connecting school-based practices to resources, institutions, and opportunities beyond the school’s walls. The playlist culminates in a district-wide competition where students pitch a working prototype of their machine to a jury of professional creative practitioners that will offer feedback and awards for especially noteworthy productions.        

Example:  Cyberbullying

A non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organization has created a cyber-bullying toolkit targeted to  high schoolers. They hope that creating an online playlist will substantially broaden their reach and impact, enabling them to reach a national audience. Playlist development, which involves youth participants as playlist co-designers, includes the digitization of an existing toolkit curriculum that explains individual rights and legal protections for LGBTQ youth; addresses how to protect privacy online, controls digital footprints, and navigates the web safely; considers what constitutes cyberbullying and offers strategies for what to do if youth experience it; and provides support resources for bullied youth.

In addition to sequencing the online curriculum, the playlist also includes a series of online peer discussions moderated by professional youth advocacy experts where learners consider specific fictional scenarios and solutions and engage in dialog around shared experiences.  The culmination of these online events is a collaborative storytelling and video production module that enables youth to design and create a series of videos that provide tips on how to identify, combat, and cope with cyber-bullying and offers peer guidance on how to be a strong ally to LGBTQ peers. These videos are designed to demonstrate learning and are also incorporated into the playlist curricula, becoming key resources for future learners. Optional related playlists include a sequenced guide to creating a LGBTQ-straight alliance in school and a playlist for straight students on how to be an effective ally for LGBTQ youth. Completion of the playlist deepens digital literacies on how to navigate the web safely and in privacy-protecting ways; introduces important legal concepts; teaches video production and storytelling skills; and encourages learners to interact collaboratively with peers and mentors to put  web resources to good social and civic purpose that promotes a culture of civility, equality and respect online.

Example: STEAM

As part of a city-wide summer learning program dedicated to STEAM programming, five museums coordinate their learning content around the topic of water under the theme, “Blue Planet,” and create a series of digital badges that mark learning pathways through this content. Each museum develops a playlist that represents distinct approaches to the Blue Planet theme: a museum that specializes in art walks youth through photo and video production as they tell different stories about water; the natural history museum focuses on curriculum aligned to National Science Education Standards; a third museum has a dedicated engineering track where youth build structures to direct and contain water; a history museum runs a young adult science fiction and dystopian writer’s camp with a focus on climate change; and the aquarium offers a claymation workshop where youth create sea creatures and stop motion video shorts featuring their creations. Different curricula are adapted to two age groups: middle school and high school. Learners can complete one playlist and earn a digital badge, or complete all five playlists to earn the final Blue Planet badge. At the end of the summer, youth can present their work at a Blue Planet festival that celebrates youth creativity and innovation in the arts and sciences. Blue Planet badge earners are invited to come back and work as interns.

More examples available at


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