Connected learning can be regarded as a framework of an education system/approach that follow several principles helping students in learning, which includes: interest powered, production centered, peer supported, shared purpose, academic oriented, openly networked. It empowers students with the responsibility to learn from various network resources, curiously engage them to think critically in the area of their interest and to become lifelong learners. The link http://connectedlearning.tv/what-is-connected-learning and http://clalliance.org/why-connected-learning/ provides a nice background about connected learning, its need in the modern world and examples of how it has been implemented in several places.
I read about connected learning, it seemed to me that all the principles of connected learning can be implemented using project based learning (PBL) approach. PBL is implemented in engineering classrooms to help students solve real-world ill-structured problems/projects by actively and co-operatively engaging students in the tasks, which helps students to succeed. The PBL classroom implementing connected learning can design the projects according to the interests of the students (by letting students chose their project) along with achieving certain learning outcomes of the course. These projects can be aimed towards producing some kind of solution that can contribute to real-world problems (for example a software application designed of grandparents to do certain task). The principles of interest powered and production centered can be thus implemented using PBL as well as it can aim to attain academic learning. Again, in PBL environment, each member in a group shares a common interest of learning the course material, thus they have shared purpose, which help them to learn from each other and ultimately finish the project. Moreover, in PBL setting, peers from different groups can provide feedback to other groups, which help in strengthening the project output. Lastly, the unlimited networked resources assist students in succeeding through many phases of the project. For example, during project definition, students can understand the context of the project better by gathering information about the specific problem or during alternate solution generation phase, they can explore the pros and cons of different solutions of various communities engaged with similar problem to come up with their innovative solutions. Therefore, PBL is a good way to implement connected learning in a classroom setting.