Writing for Getting Smart, Tom Vander Ark outlines 15 opportunities to improve learning through invention. Excerpts of the piece appear below:
The education and development systems that help people grow and contribute are facing 15 great challenges that block global progress in learning. These big invention opportunities are outlined below.
Community Agreement Challenges
- Shared reality: improved access to facts, better preparation in digital literacy, better tagging of synthetic content, visual and logic tools for building a shared reality.
- Agreement crafting: process skills and tools for facilitating rapid community conversations yielding agreements for iterative development.
- Broader aims: articulating a shared purpose of education that moves beyond narrow skill definitions/metrics to success skills, wellbeing, and contribution.
- Equitable foundation: supporting equitable access to education with weighted and portable funding, thoughtful talent distribution, and intentional locations and enrollment policies.
- Accountability 2.0: new ways of measuring success including making use of cumulative validity across broad learning goals and comprehensive records.
Learning Design Challenges
- Learner experience: how to use learning science to craft engaging and effective learning sequences.
- Credentialing capabilities: how to credential demonstrated skills (especially success skills that are context-dependent) to reduce friction in talent transactions.
- Competency-based progressions: combining individual progress with effective use of cohorts and teams (and what that means for scheduling students and staff).
- Personalized talent development: portable system of microcredentials and employment benefits.
- Nimble formats: how to enable the benefits of comprehensive systems in small safe secure and personalized environments.
Data and EdTech Challenges
- Motivational profiles: identification and use of the factors that motivate persistence and achievement to design learning environments and experiences.
- Personalized and localized guidance: relationship-based advising informed by personal and local data.
- Portable records: learners/guardians/teachers draw insights from comprehensive records drawn from teacher/partner assessments (with interoperability); learners tell their story with portfolios and portable credentials, the permission access and receive offers from employers and postsecondary institutions.
- Wellness: how to incorporate a healthy dose of the quantified self and build access to health, wellness, and nutrition supports into education.
- Tech stack: integrated learning and administrative tools designed to support specific learning sequences.
All of the above opportunities for invention work to address roadblocks for meaningful learning and, once they are developed, will work to include and empower the most marginalized among us.