Last week, Michael Robbins, Senior Advisor for Nonprofit Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education, wrote a thought-provoking post on the Department’s blog titled Community Partnerships for the Digital Learning Revolution. In it, Robbins outlined four key areas of collaboration that community organizations can undertake to advance the digital learning movement:
- Expanding access and digital literacy;
- Bridging between schools, families, and communities;
- Service and volunteering in education; and
- Creating new avenues for anytime-anywhere learning.
As Digital Learning Day approaches, I am taken back a couple of years to when I was working on the launch of the 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning. I was still very new to the K-12 space; up until then I had worked in higher education, and was enamored with all the super-cool stuff contained in the forecast, especially around anytime, anywhere learning. One day, someone reminded me that while the 2020 Forecast might articulate some “super cool” things about learning being unhitched from traditional schools, there was also a good chance that this could lead to a widened achievement gap – specifically because of a lack of access to the proper edtech tools for underserved students. Needless to say, I hadn’t thought about this and was fairly disheartened as I wrapped my brain around the idea.
As I read Robbins’ post, my optimism about anytime, anywhere learning got a boost. Whether it’s Connect2Compete working “to expand low-cost internet, computers, and digital literacy instruction to low-income families,” or HIVE Learning Networks using, “new technologies and media to better connect students to their interests, aspirations, communities, and careers,” the partnerships he described made the 2020 Forecast super-cool again.
It is becoming increasingly clear that complex social issues, like education, cannot be improved by one sector alone. Cross sector collaboration; whether it is community or faith-based organizations, non-profits, businesses, or families; is a non-negotiable if we are going to, as Robbins says, “…ignite student curiosity and engagement in learning.”
Publications referencing Forecast 3.0: Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem continue to bubble up in the education space.
“Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem,” by Joe Nathan, Director of the Center for School Change, asks if recent inventions or discoveries are changing the way we learn? Focusing on changes we have already witnessed in our lifetimes, Nathan explores some of the disruptions outlined in the Forecast.
Leslie Wilson, CEO-One-to-One Institute, outlines each of the five projected disruptions in “Charting the Future!”
Dive deeply into the future of learning – visit our new Learning in 2025 resources page.
After months of work with partners around the country, I am delighted to announce the release of KnowledgeWorks Forecast 3.0, Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem.
With our first two forecasts, we anticipated that teaching and learning would become uncoupled from traditional educational institutions. Beginning in 2005, we saw the possibility for a vibrant array of learning experiences, resources, and tools to be available to nearly anyone, anytime, anywhere, for any purpose. In 2012, that future has certainly arrived!
Due to five key disruptions, we expect that the coming decade will bring experiments with the novel recombination of this array of unbundled resources, talent, and technology. We will have the opportunity to put the pieces – some long-established and some new – together in new sequences to create a diverse and evolving learning ecosystem that ensures that each and every child is prepared to thrive in a dynamic future.
Of course, Forecast 3.0 is but one thread in a rich tapestry of the current education conversation. We hope you will be interested in weaving in your ideas by engaging in challenging, inspiring, and disruptive conversations in your own communities, organizations, and schools or here online with us.
Over the next few months, the Organizational Development and Foresight team, along with our KnowledgeWorks colleagues and partners, will continue to elaborate on the disruptions on this blog. We will also use the forecast’s “20,000 foot view” as a starting point for engaging in more practice-based conversations. We expect to examine questions about what the disruptions and opportunities to recombine components of the learning ecosystem might mean for topics as diverse as learning outcomes, curriculum, pedagogy, leadership, governance, teachers’ roles and preparation, professional learning, funding, assessment, partnerships, community involvement, and even the very purpose of education.
Please look for future discussions here or, if we can support your efforts to catalyze new conversations in some other way, please contact us. You can also engage further by ordering hard copies of the forecast free of charge or download the forecast if that is of use to you.
We look forward to creating the future with you!