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Student Well-Being Opinion

Building a Shared Vision of the #FutureofLearning

By Tom Vander Ark — January 03, 2018 4 min read
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The #EdResearchSummit in Pittsburgh was co-hosted by Montour Schools (featured here) and Carnegie Mellon University (featured here). In the opening session of the summit we discussed 10 aspects of the future of learning. Links to recent resources are included below in addition to comments from Pittsburgh educators.

1) Learner Experience: Active learning, design thinking and project-based learning focused on broader aims.

  • Focus on social and emotional learning (listen to a podcast with CASEL chair Tim Shriver).
  • Combinations of personalized and project-based Learning.
  • #PlaceBasedEd: community as the classroom, community partnerships.
  • Adaptive learning and smart digital assistants.
  • Augmented and virtual reality as the new UI for learning.
  • Big data and artificial intelligence makes every subject computational (we call it cause + code).

2) Youth Development: Relationships, supports, and application.

  • Integrating youth development principles (see Springpoint design principles).
  • Advisory: every secondary school needs a distributed guidance and support system that provides sustained relationships, academic monitoring, culture building, and links to supports (see 5 core and 10 optional features).
  • Opportunities to apply learning in work, service, and civic settings (see post on service learning at Quest ECHS, Houston).
  • Digital Citizenship: students taking responsibility for online actions and being aware of algorithms driving what they consume on every screen.

3) Assessment for Growth: Real time integrated feedback.

  • Everything is formative and supports growth (see discussion of formative assessment).
  • Automagically combined formative (this will take big improvements in interoperability, read this report for more).
  • Provide feedback on social and emotional skills (but avoid including immature measure in accountability systems according to Roger Weissberg, CASEL).

4) Comprehensive Learner Profiles: Portable personalization.

  • States will expand their electronic student record (Listen to a podcast on Georgia’s use of Total Learning Architecture).
  • Parents and learners will gain access to a comprehensive profile with contributions from school, after school programs, tutors, and online providers.
  • A digital portfolio captures a collection of personal bests.

5) Competency and Credentials: show what you know, progress on mastery, share your capabilities.

  • Schools will shift to competency-based learning progressions where students progress based on demonstrated mastery.
  • Dynamic learning models combine individual, team, skill group, and cohort experiences.
  • High school students will have expanded access to dual enrollment with easy transfer and career and technical learn and earn ladders.
  • Learners will share mastery transcripts with postsecondary institutions.
  • Blockchain technology will make it easy to capture and share capabilities (see a summary of a new European report).

6) Talent Development: Personalized professional learning.

  • Personal learning plans drive participation in microcredentials.
  • AI powered recruiting, onboarding, and personalized development (listen to Mike Moe discuss AI in HR).

7) EdTech: Renewed innovation (after a 2-3 year plateau).

  • AI behind everything in EdTech: learning platforms, scheduling, transportation, and budgeting.
  • Customized toolset support networks of schools (e.g., Summit Learning, New Tech Network).
  • More immersive experiences within a collaborative environment, more mixed reality to boost #GlobalEd.
  • Assistive Technologies - tapping into VR, e..g Samsung working with vision impaired.
  • Transcript and credential innovation on blockchain technology.

8) New School Models: Personalized and project-based learning models.

9) Governance and Policy: Regional partnerships match policy and capacity.

  • Regional progress on competency-based learning: school networks, competency-based diplomas, higher education acceptance (e.g., Great Schools Partnership in New England).
  • City partnerships for talent development, investment, incubation, work-based learning.
  • State funding: weighted, portable, and performance-based.

10) Architecture of Education: Learning spaces that support active learning models.

We’re looking forward to imagining and building #FutureofLearning with you this year.

This post is part of a blog series in the upcoming “Getting Smart on Reinventing Education” Smart Bundle produced in partnership with The Grable Foundation. Join the conversation on Twitter using #RemakeLearning. For more, check out the other blogs in the series:


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The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


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