Friday, December 3, 2010

Next Generation Learning

Next Generation Learning is the concept of using technology to develop learning models and personalized education pathways. Currently in the United States nearly 30 percent of students don’t complete high school and only 42 percent of students graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree. How will we address the learning styles and needs of the next generation of students and prepare them with 21st century skills?

The publication Next Generation Learning was produced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The foundation has invested $5 billion in programs and partnerships in the United States to address” the challenges faced by our education system and lack of qualified workers that is impacting our economy. The foundation supports the Common Core State Standards Initiative that has produced a set of standards for states to follow for language arts and math skills that students need to learn to be successful in college. Based on these core standards the foundation is investing “in the development of instructional materials that align with those standards” and “assessment tools that provide real-time feedback to students and teachers.”

The goal of developing innovative learning models and personalized pathways is to provide “access to high-quality, relevant and engaging content in a variety of forms” to all students. The elements of the next generation learning model include:
  • Effective assessment tools that align with college preparation standards and clear postsecondary learning objectives
  • Engaging digital content
  • Algorithms and match student needs with content and delivery methods
  • Technology-enable professional development tools
  • Learning management platforms that integrate and deliver these components
Technology-based solutions can be a cost-effective way to provide effective learning solutions for schools across the nation in this time of tight school budgets.

Next Generation Learning Challenges is a nonprofit partnership that aims to “improve college readiness and college completion through the use of technology and digital media.” The main objectives are:
  • To encourage more investment in technology-enabled solutions that improve the quality of learning and student outcomes for low-income students
  • To support a portfolio of solutions that demonstrate evidence of success
  • To encourage large institutions to partner with innovators to support adoption of their solutions
  • To establish a network of collective learning among innovators and adopters
The Next Generation Learning Challenges is led by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, iNACOL the International Association for K-12 Online Learning the Council for Chief State School Officers, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with other funders. It is the belief of these organizations that providing the intelligent use of technology in combination with new emerging evidence-based models of teaching and learning will improve college readiness and college graduation rates in the United States providing a workforce of qualified employees.

To read this publication please go to:

To learn more about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation please go to:

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