Next generation learning is about the EXPERIENCE of learning and the OUTCOME of learning. Both are rich, deep, and meaningful.  

The Experience

We’re often asked what next gen learning looks like. In next gen schools, students should be able to know and sense that they are learning in a substantially powerful way. That’s why we put together this list that describes next gen learning from the learner’s perspective:

  • Personalized to the ways I learn best
  • Flexible so that I can try different ways to learn
  • Interactive and engaging so that I participate in the learning
  • Relevant to the life I’d like to lead
  • Organized around my own progress against goals I understand
  • Constantly informed by different ways of demonstrating and measuring my progress
  • Collaborative with teachers and peers, unlimited by proximity
  • Agile and supportive when I need extra help
  • Challenging but achievable, with opportunities to become expert in an area of interest
  • Available to me as much as it is to every other student

You may recognize some of the strategies that make this kind of learning possible: competency-based learning, project-based learning, personalized learning, inquiry-based learning, blended and online learning, collaborative learning, experiential learning, assessment for learning. NGLC supports educators who are using these strategies to create completely new designs for schools

The Outcome

Educators who embrace next gen learning recognize that student “success” requires a whole set of interrelated competencies. Next gen learning isn’t only about improving math and ELA achievement. And it’s not just about improving communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. It’s about “wayfinding” and “creative know how” as well as robust “content knowledge” and “habits of success.” It’s all of these competencies together.  Because we want students to be their best selves and live their best lives.

The Learner

Next gen educators understand their students as whole beings, knowing that public education exists in a society that privileges some and disadvantages others. A reimagined learning experience demands attention to the lived experience of students, shaped by race, income, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identities. Next gen learning gives students the tools, the knowledge, and the confidence to navigate inequity in their own lives and work to make the United States a more just society for everyone.

The Learning Organization

Next generation learning isn’t only for students. For K-12 education to become a system that works well in the 21st century, next gen learning needs to happen at all levels. Next gen schools provide professional learning for educators that parallels next gen learning for students. The NGLC community has adopted a learning orientation and the NGLC team strives to live “next gen learning” in our daily work with each other and with the community.

In the end, next generation learning is simply good learning. But its impact is far from simple. It’s transformative.


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Note: NGLC is hiring a Program Manger, Massachusetts Incubator, posted 10/17/2017. See the job posting and apply today.