Learning In The 21st Century Might Only Require These 3 Things


by Iain Lancaster

Sugata Mitra’s award winning TED Talk about “building a school in the cloud” is more than just a compendium of thought provoking notions regarding the future of education.

In the talk, he first contextualizes where education is and how it came to be this way. He then goes on to outline a plan to progress–self-organized learning environments, a kind of framework for self-direct learning and learning through play. Mitra argues for 3 critical ingredients for learning in the 21st century: a broadband connection, collaboration, and emotional support.

For those of us in the field it might stir feelings of both eager anticipation and trepidation. Mitra’s ideas are a snapshot of where learning is headed. As educator’s we can either choose to go along with the ride, rethinking outdated paradigms and working hard to change deeply embedded habits, all the while getting ever more comfortable with ambiguity and less control of student learning, or we can get out of the way and be left behind.

In a nutshell, those are our options.