Make Sense of the Future with Assessment Guru Alex Weber

Topics: Future of Learning, Systems Change

There’s nothing like that ‘aha’ moment when a group of educators looks up from a dashboard with new insights into learning.

Alex Weber
Character from IMPACT: Learning Edition

Back in 2022, Alex Weber aspired to work as an assessment director. But, as his career developed, that role shifted to include a broader view of data analytics. Now, Alex works as a community intelligence specialist. Alignment, accountability and algorithms are his areas of expertise. He curates data about learning and helps his learning community make sense of it all. Alex also helps educators use technology for evidence-based, formative assessment and feedback. And he ensures alignment with state accountability systems while keeping an eye on privacy and security.

In keeping with his role in the education system, Alex looks to a future in which social infrastructure is strong and people think broadly about what kinds of resources and supports people need and how we get them. He even sees data as a form of social infrastructure. Alex values science and technology too. He knows first-hand how much light new knowledge and tools can shed on people’s work – including the very human work of education. Alex is also very focused on community and culture. Ultimately, in his view, data are for and about people. Looking at them in isolation does not change much. But looking at data together – engaging in collective sensemaking – can help people make sense of how things have been going and how to move forward. Alex wants to see a future where such practices are commonplace.

Imagine if future human-centered learning systems educated young people to participate fully in society. Explore this idea and more in Envisioning Human-Centered Learning Systems.
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Alex Weber is a character from IMPACT: Learning Edition, a game that activates players’ creative and critical thinking skills to make sense of the future, together. A player taking on his perspective would be watching for shifts such as those mentioned below.

  • The School Next Door – What if U.S. states led the rapid adoption of the community school model, where schools become community hubs to support students, families and communities?
  • Pretty Please – What if commercial, artificially intelligent assistants could be easily programmed to reinforce specific values, such as politeness, through verbal interactions?
  • Let’s Network – What if educational networks connecting districts, schools, resources and people continued to spread?

Each of these developments could impact what it meant to work as a community intelligence specialist. They could augment or complicate Alex’s efforts to bring his learning community together around data and create effective formative assessments.

IMPACT: Learning Edition helps players do their own collective sensemaking by exploring the impacts of plausible future developments on education and knitting together individual developments through “Headline of an Era” challenges. Alex is all about community intelligence. Play IMPACT: Learning Edition to stimulate yours.

Enter the future world of IMPACT: Learning Edition, a new way to examine education systems using futures thinking.