When I take my kids to a restaurant, their tablemats often have some counting lessons or logic puzzles. The apps and games they play teach reading, math, scientific investigation, design, and more. When they watch cartoons, they are usually absorbing embedded lessons about nature, social interactions, or problem solving. There are few kids’ shows with coyotes chasing roadrunners around the desert these days. Kids are learning at school, at home, on the road, on hikes, at the beach, and in front of screens. Of course, kids have always learned “something” as they play and consume media, but these days the intentional informal learning opportunities are abundant and unavoidable.
The idea of a “learning space” is being transformed, no longer confined to enclosures within official educational institutions. In this short scenario report, our verynice futures team lays out a series of alternative futures for learning and learning spaces. We’ve drawn upon our own personal and professional experience exploring innovative (and not so innovative) educational institutions around the world. We’ve mapped out some major trends in learning technology, educational processes and priorities, and new social behaviors that will open new domains for how, when, where, and why learning takes place. The scenarios we’ve created show just how different the future might be for learners of all stripes, and the values and dynamics driving each of these possible worlds.
How might education and learning change when unleashed from many current cultural, technological, and bureaucratic constraints? How might these new systems serve learners more effectively? On the other hand, how might they fail or exploit learners in both known and novel ways?
Use this scenario report to explore new horizons, challenge your assumptions, and to facilitate a conversation about what values, practices, and outcomes you’d prefer to see for the future of learning. And let us know how we can help you think about futures more creatively and act on these insights more effectively.