January 28, 2013

Digital Learning: Ten Insights from the Future

The digital revolution has been a key lever in opening possibilities for education beyond what seemed possible when KnowledgeWorks published our first forecast on the future of learning in 2006.  Our latest forecast, Recombinant Education, indicates that digital technologies, along with the social innovations that they enable, will continue to disrupt the education system such that the best of today’s solutions will combine with new components to meet learners where they are.

Digital learning will be part of a modular and nimble learning ecosystem in which learning agents, learners, and families create many different learning combinations that reflect their needs, interests, and goals.

Ten Insights from the Future

  1. Interactive tools such as online brokerage services and learning resources maps will be essential in helping learners and their parents choose from a rich array of learning resources and experiences.
  2. Learning agents who specialize in advising learners and their parents will play a critical role in helping learners find the particular mix of learning experiences that’s right for them.
  3. Meaningful data about learners and their learning will need to flow seamlessly across many different learning experiences and providers.
  4. That data will go far beyond logging academic performance data to provide rich insights into learners’ social and emotional conditions, predict performance, and suggest individual strategies for success.
  5. For data to follow individual learners across their learning experiences, technical systems will need to be interoperable, spanning organizational and geographic boundaries.
  6. As digital learning gets more and more sophisticated and as digital technologies increasingly support and complement place-based learning experiences, many forms of hyper-focused “schools” will operate across media and platforms.
  7. Learners will expect all learning experiences, regardless of format, to be highly personalized and relevant.
  8. School and district administrators will manage portfolios of learning resources, combining digital learning experiences and other assets to meet the needs of all learners.
  9. As extreme career mobility and ad hoc work become the norm, strong digital networking skills will become a critical aspect of career readiness.
  10. Digital portfolios and credentialing systems will help both learners and workers demonstrate their accomplishments and manage their personal brands.

It’s impossible to envision a future learning ecosystem without digital learning playing a critical role in delivering learning and without digital learning services providing essential supports for learners, families, and learning agents.

Let’s hold the future of learning in mind as we shape digital learning today.

Katherine Prince

Written by: Katherine Prince

Katherine Prince is the Senior Director of Strategic Foresight at KnowledgeWorks. She is excited about the future of learning, transformative leadership, and building resilient solutions for a sustainable world.

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