May 10, 2012

Around the World with the Future of Learning

Guest post by Jillian Darwish

Since we first partnered with the Institute for the Future back in 2006 we have distributed 200,000 futures publications across the US and in five other countries and conducted well over 100 strategic learning engagements affecting over 400 organizations. We have worked with national associations, grantmakers, school districts, education entrepreneurs and more. The discussion and questions within these strategy and learning sessions are always interesting, but there definitely are patterns in the conversations and in the questions that repeat themselves.  For example, we frequently get asked about the possible digital divide, the balance between in-person and mediated connection, the scope and sequence of learning when the world is so dynamic, etc.. Frequently at issue is where and how to begin to translate the emerging trends into action right now.

At the Institute’s recent Ten Year Forecast Retreat, I had a chance to meet Anthony Y Tsai, Chairman of the Board The International School of Beijing.  ISB translated our original publication into Chinese and used the work as one input to shape their thinking about the future of learning.  With their Learning21@ISB Framework, ISB joined an exciting group of education leaders around the world who are answering the question of how to translate emerging trends into action for learners.


The L21 framework addresses content knowledge, approaches and skills in one seamless model and reflects the changing needs of learners in our modern world.

Within the L21 approach, learning is centered on long-term, real-world projects that meaningfully integrate multiple disciplines. Assessment is not just academic but has social and emotional metrics and these capacities are proactively developed.  Technology integration is sought, not as an end to itself, but  to promote engagement, feedback, collaboration and access to experts.

The ideas within the L21 Framework are clear and compelling and a wonderful example of how learning can be “relevant, vibrant and forward looking” right now.   Thanks ISB for providing a great example to learn from!


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