A New Learning Environment for the Future of Learning

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For the past three years, I’ve worked with Veronica Boix-Mansilla and several other colleagues from Project Zero and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education to put together a professional learning event called the Future of Learning Institute. The goal of the institute to help people imagine new futures for learning, particularly by exploring developments along three strands: globalization, the digital revolution, and mind-brain studies.

For years, we’ve been dissatisfied with our online learning environment. We used Harvard’s Learning Management System (LMS), iSites, which is fine as learning management systems go, but filled with problems for an Institute. You have to give everyone a password and username for a short 4-day learning experience, and everyone has login problems and forgets their credentials. There is never enough time to teach people the particularities and peculiarities of the system («the insert image button is hidden on that third tab over here»)and so no one really uses it. Plus, the university closes access to the site two months after the institute every year, so participants never had any incentive to put anything there anyway.

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