About the Platform

Whether it’s in the classroom, after-school or online, Evanston youth now have one place to go to explore what’s possible based on their interests. Select what you like to do and what career you want to have and start your learning journey. Be it an online coding game, a program at Evanston Public Library, a free event at ETHS, or a special project within your science class, EL3 offers a variety of engaging opportunities.

EL3 is a collaboration between Evanston-Skokie School District 65, Northwestern's Digital Youth Network and Evanston's out-of-school organizations. As an online learning platform, EL3 is a space where you can build your "digital backpack" to show what you have learned and what you can do—to friends, teachers, or parents.

Our Mission

Powered by District 65’s EvanSTEM project in partnership with Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy’s Office of Community Education Partnerships (OCEP), EL3 is a place where youth can find learning opportunities to pursue either online, in school and out-of school -- Evanston Learns: (1) in school, (2) out-of-school, and (3) online. Through EL3, young people can discover new paths and interests, explore Evanston’s rich resources, and find out what they can learn, make, do and, ultimately, become.

More than just a tool to search and find programs that interest students, EL3 becomes a space for young people to develop their respective learning history. Each program they attend, each skill they master, each APP they conquer, and each project they complete via EL3 is included as part of their learning profile.

Our History

The creation of EL3 is a collaboration between Northwestern University’s Digital Youth Network (DYN) and EvanSTEM, a project within Evanston Skokie School District 65. Evanston’s EL3 platform is based upon Chicago’s City of Learning platform that was created by DYN in 2013.

DYN grew out of the MacArthur Foundation’s 2008 five-year, $50 million Digital Media and Learning Initiative, which awarded DYN founder Dr. Nichole Pinkard a generous grant to study how digital media affects literacy.

DYN is expanding its reach in order to become more accessible to a wider audience. But the mission to address one of the nation’s most significant and enduring questions remains the same:

How do we produce reliably excellent learning opportunities for children growing up in urban America?


Are you interested in becoming a part of your youth's learning ecosystem?

  • Find out how you can be a learning partner to your youth by clicking below


Our learning ecosystem depends upon all schools, programs and educators to work together to provide engaging and accessible learning opportunities. Learn more by clicking the link below


On EL3, students have the power to:

  • Share their completed projects with friends, teachers, and mentors.
  • Seek activities where they can level-up their skills.
Be Curious