Today, I’m happy to announce that my friend and colleague Bruce Dixon and I are starting a new membership website, Educating Modern Learners (EML). It’s a site and an accompanying newsletter that’s aimed specifically at helping school leaders and policy makers from around the globe be better informed about the huge technological changes that are impacting education, and to help them make better, more pertinent decisions for the students they serve. And I’m equally excited to announce that we’ve hired one of the best education bloggers / thinkers we know, Audrey Watters, to be the editorial director / lead writer for the site. Our official launch is scheduled for mid-February.
Our hope is that EML will offer a reader-supported, independent voice to help articulate what is as yet a struggling but growing new narrative in the school reform discussion, one that provokes serious conversation at the leadership level around a more learner-centered, inquiry-based, technology and access-rich school experience that more powerfully and relevantly serves children in this fast-changing modern world. We’ll be commissioning some of the best writers and thought-leaders in the world to produce analysis and commentary on all aspects of modern learning, from local, state and ministry level policy issues, new literacies and pedagogies for 21st Century learners, effective change-centered leadership, new technologies, and best school practices, among others. Also in the mix are regular whitepapers, live events, podcasts, and more. More details to come.
Here’s some of where we’re starting from in our thinking about this:
- We believe that we live and learn at a moment of rapid and radical change across institutions and cultures, and that technologies are in large part driving those changes.
- We believe that today’s students will be immersed in creative and connected technologies throughout their adult learning lives, and that they require new skills, literacies, and dispositions to succeed in the modern world.
- We believe that the web and other technologies can be a powerful source for good in the world.
- We believe that schools must move away from “delivering” an education to, instead, empowering students to organize their own education.
- We believe technology implemented with vision can be a powerful part of effective teaching and learning in schools.
- We believe that relevant reforms are occurring too slowly because not enough of our efforts are aimed at those who make decisions regarding technology’s role in learning in schools.
- We believe that top level decision makers often act without a relevant, global, modern lens for how technologies can best serve progressive teaching and learning. This is through no fault of their own as much as it is the consequence of leading at a moment of rapid and radical change.
- We believe there is a real need for a diverse set of expert voices to use a global lens to intelligently curate and contextualize the changes, new technologies, future trends, best practices and more on a regular basis.
- We believe this is a time of unprecedented opportunity. A time for boldness, and a time for well-informed leadership to shape new thinking around what schools could and should be; about where, when, and how learning takes place. A time for us to truly rethink the possibilities that technology offers education, and a time for creative and courageous leadership to show the way.
EML is hopefully just the first step in what we hope will be a collection of resources and events that will help expand the contexts for learning and leading in the education leadership space. If you’d like to be notified when we officially launch, just sign up on our “Coming Soon!” page.