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Introduction:

The education of the future—the sum of complex interplay between countless systems and stakeholders, from teachers to students, universities to ed-tech startups—is approaching, and exciting things are afoot. Almost every part of the system is changing, and we have more opportunities than ever before to take education into our own hands and help define how it evolves.

What will this future look like? To start, it will be significantly more personalized, tailored to the strengths and goals of every individual learner. The dominant (yet waning) model is that of school-as-assembly-line, churning kids up and out through a system that has been, on average, fairly efficient—but that has largely neglected the many differences (of interests, temperament, learning style, etc.) among those actually doing the learning.

Who this is for:

This guide is for people of all ages who want to be more effective in acquiring and using knowledge and skills. It will be particularly useful for high school and college students who desire to accelerate their own learning and dedicate significant effort to improving the possibilities of their future. But it’s also for anyone driven and motivated to learn and explore new possibilities, better understand the world, and leverage resources to live, work, and create more effectively. This will give you essential frameworks and the push to get started, so you can power your own future going forward. We all have limited time—let’s learn to use it effectively.

What you’ll learn:

  1. How to conceive, design, structure and implement a plan for rewarding lifelong self-education
  2. Where you can find (and create!) the best resources, connections, and opportunities
  3. Measuring progress and applying your new skills to succeed and do great things

Example Topics

In this book, we’ll explore many topics that will help you design your own goals, path, and system for learning:

  • Design thinking, MOOCs, educational platforms, adaptive learning…
  • Collaborative creativity, social entrepreneurship, self-learning, coaching…
  • Learning communities, “explorable explanations”, design sprints, blogging…
  • Self-Organized Learning Environments, online salons, mentorship…
  • Live video courses, incubators, web experiments…
  • Conferences, transmedia education, coworking…

These are signposts for our journey, indicating where we’re heading as we explore the future of education. As the trajectory of learning takes us into an age of personalization and context, we must understand the myriad systems, tools and relationships that comprise it.

More Detail—Education, Design, and “Why This Book?”

We’re currently in the midst of relentless technological advancement, connecting us like never before. The complexity and richness of our networks, ease of access to resources, and aggregate strength of our communal efforts give us the capacity to create, explore, and achieve great things.

One of the key factors shaping and driving these fascinating, entangled changes is the evolving set of relationships between educators and learners—the two sides of the coin critical to the learning process.

Learners are being granted more and more opportunities for self-directed education and personalized learning paths, allowing for both highly-specific learning of exactly the topics necessary for a particular goal, and for very interdisciplinary and complexly structured learning. Educators are finding new platforms for disseminating knowledge, going outside and beyond the classroom to enable nontraditional relationships and break down the unidirectional information flow that’s traditionally typified teaching, to allow for more conversational, collaborative, massive-scale, experimental and innovative approaches. Together, educators and learners create and inhabit the networks and spaces in which learning takes place.

Design thinking is hot right now, and for good reason—design is critical to crafting businesses, organizations, brands, processes, content, and relationships. We believe that your education is one of the most important things you can—and should—design. This means taking a carefully considered approach to all facets of education, treating it as an evolving process that you can break down into interrelated parts, and working on each part to improve your capability and outcomes.

Designing your education includes many things: articulating your learning goals, understanding the many possible approaches to education, exploring and experimenting, plotting out a roadmap for your learning journey, structuring and scheduling that journey, measuring your results, and applying your newly gained knowledge. This book will cover all these elements and more.

This book is about the emerging dynamics and evolving roles of teaching and learning—but more importantly, it’s about how to take your education into your own hands, and map a path for growth, fulfillment, and lifelong learning.

We’ll survey everything from the MOOC debate and future of higher education, to the systemic problems with education starting in K-12, to the many ways online culture is changing communities, networks, and relationships of learning. We’ll explore a detailed manual and how-to guide for maximizing learning success and having a positive impact on the world. We’ll watch interviews with people learning and teaching in innovative ways, and learn how to not only develop your own educational roadmap, but also take a more active and creative role in our greater communities.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the future of education, and being part of it yourself, please sign up for updates.

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