****The U.S. Government has just released a book entitled, “Modernizing Learning: Building the Future Learning Ecosystem.” It is an implementation blueprint for how to re-build our education system to help Americans prepare for the future. The book can be downloaded for FREE here:
Decades of education reform have focused on fixing, controlling, and standardizing K-12 education practices. What has resulted is a rigid system that is struggling to prepare students for the future world of automation, globalization, and multiple careers across their lifetimes.
The military, in particular, is recognizing and highlighting these concerns. For example, only 25% of Americans are currently eligible for service. Also, the Army has recently elongated basic training because they see a need for more training to develop readiness. And to quote Gen. Dunford, “We can’t buy our way out of many of the challenges we have, we have to think our way out of them.”
We connect. We empower. We focus on the whole person.
A learning ecosystem, by design, not only requires but is actually enhanced by multiple communities participating in its design, as well as its execution. So rather than focusing solely on researchers or K-12 teachers or university leaders or even the business of education, we focused on the entire system.
Modernizing Learning is not an academic exercise, it is an implementation blueprint for senior leaders across all communities involved in education. It expands the idea of learning from focusing mostly on pK-16 to placing emphasis on learning and development across the lifetime. Significant recommendations additionally recognize and define key skills needed to thrive in the 21st century, the need for emphasis on social, emotional, and physical health and development in addition to cognitive development, and recognition as well as measurement capability creation for learning that happens outside the classroom.
Combining input from a star-studded list of education leaders across the nation, this book defines the pathway and change needed to the system of education, starting with policy enhancements, collaborative development needs, and technological infrastructure improvements across the nation that will enable learning to be formally recognized anywhere, anytime, and personalized to individual needs. Shifting the focus from standardization to empowerment and making it possible for all students, of all ages, to access and benefit from learning opportunities will further add to national readiness. Finally, by creating an ecosystem, rather than continuing to make incremental changes to the linear, standard progression currently followed, it allows for future advancements to seamlessly connect to existing opportunities. In other words, this blueprint creates a living, actively evolving system that can grow as our national and individual needs change.
Ultimately, this book aims to re-imagine the U.S. education system to promote creativity and the benefits of diversity for making America ready for the future.