Birds in the sky form an arrow pointing to the future of learning for students.

5 strategies to navigate the future of learning

A new resource lays out the opportunities--and challenges--that go hand-in-hand with the future of learning

Advances in smart technologies and the knowledge needed to power them are paving the way for new kinds of educational opportunities–and a new guide offers a look at five strategies that will prove instrumental to the future of learning.

The resource from KnowledgeWorks notes that educators are in a unique position to help students build the employability skills that will support them as they embrace lifelong learning.

Related content: 3 changes that can help the class of 2030 succeed

As educators understand the drivers of change shaping the future of learning, they also should consider potential implications and the kinds of opportunities and challenges they could present. The guide is intended to help educators uncover their ideals for the future of learning, and to identify how those ideals can help stakeholders move forward on a shared vision.

5 strategies for the future of learning

These five opportunities and strategies will help educators and leaders shape their action plans for the future of learning.

Along with each opportunity, the guide offers examples of strategies that stakeholders might adopt for the future of learning.

Five drivers of change that will impact the future of learning and have sweeping cognitive, social, ethical, and institutional consequences include:
1. Automating choices: Algorithms and AI are becoming embedded in our lives.
2. Civic superpowers: Individuals, nonprofits, and volunteer organizations are flexing their civic muscles.
3. Accelerating brains: Rapid advances in technology and neuroscience are combining to transform our cognitive abilities in intended and unintended ways.
4. Toxic narratives: The narratives and the metrics of success and achievement that shape people’s aspirations, choices, and behaviors are becoming increasingly detrimental to individual and social health.
5. Remaking geographies: Migration patterns, small-scale production, and efforts to grow place-based and cultural assets are combining to reshape local geographies in response to economic and climate volatility.

These five drivers of change will have “enormous consequences for the ways we interact, reflect, and organize our society,” according to the report.

Five opportunities–and strategies–influencing the future of learning

With the drivers in mind, the five opportunities highlight “areas in which education stakeholders could respond to the drivers of change and their implications to create meaningful strategies for navigating the future of learning while addressing their own needs.”

1. Civic engagement for the smart age: How might we activate inclusive forms of civic engagement aligned to the realities of the twenty-first century?

2. A learning lifestyle: How might we integrate schools into their environments to make learning a joyful, lifelong practice for all learners?

3. Systemic interdependence: How might we forge structural partnerships within education and across other sectors for the benefit of all?

4. Smart technologies for all: How might we ensure the ethical use of smart technologies in education?

5. Many selves, many stories: How might we value students’ lived experiences and identities to help them craft purpose-driven pathways that motivate ongoing, engaged learning?

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