We hear it all the time: our education
system is broken. But what if that’s not true?
What if our education system is doing just what it was designed to do, only was designed for a world that no
longer exists? For much of the 20th century,
opportunity was on the rise. Those who graduated high school could find
secure, good-paying jobs waiting for them in growing communities. But, today, things
are different: those kind of jobs are disappearing. More
and more people are falling into poverty as wealth
concentration has grown to its highest level in generations. What’s really broken is our economy.
That’s a big problem and one we can’t just blame on our
education system. if we really want to change things, we need to change how we think about our
entire system. Today, we have an education system that reinforces inequality by helping to sort the few
winners from the rest. What we need is a system
that challenges that inequality by empowering people to create opportunity together. Connected Learning
is a set of principles designed to nurture the kinds of students that thrive in the 21st century. It recognizes that, in today’s interconnected world, information resources and learning
opportunities are everywhere and schools are only one piece a larger
ecosystem of learning that happens at home, online, and
with peers. Connected Learning embraces today’s new
forms of learning and technology, connecting student interest to academic
success and making education relevant to young people’s lives. By the time today’s first-graders
graduate high school, there will be whole new industries we
can’t even imagine today. Connected Learning fosters the adaptive,
lifelong learners that can flourish in a world rapid technological change.
And it connects them to something bigger: by encouraging active engagement with
real problems and real needs, it motivates students and
empowers communities to realize their potential. The digital
era has the potential to connect people with resources and with each other like never before. Connected Learning
leverages that potential. If we can recognize this and make the
benefits of Connected Learning available to all, maybe we can start making lasting changes and reconnect to opportunity.