2015: The Year of the Learner

2015 is the year of the learner

Blog Editor’s Note: Putting the student at the center of their learning is transforming classrooms across our country and world. Diana Stepner explains how this concept will impact many facets of education, from designing future products to the use of technology.


Handing every student a tablet or laptop will not magically usher our classrooms into the future. Instead, the future of education will be created by learners themselves.

It’s tricky for schools to keep up with the pace of innovation. That’s why the very students and learners who are so plugged in outside the classroom — texting, chatting, and using the latest apps — will steer the way towards harnessing technology more effectively. When learners walk into the classroom, they don’t become different people. Their likes and preferences, including applications and interfaces, follow them.

As we head into the new year, beneficial disruption in education will focus on the learner’s increasing role — one which is transforming the notion of teaching and learning today. This dawning era will involve the consumerization of the classroom as well as educational products, tools, and resources.

2015 will be the year of the learner.

The Changing Role of the Student

Mention “school” to most people working outside of the education space, and the age-old image of a teacher standing in front of a classroom, lecturing at students, will pop into their head.

Nowadays, the student is coming to the forefront, with a much more active and involved learning role. Instead of reading about a subject and taking a quiz, students may dive into hands-on projects, requiring critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork — gaining what we refer to as 21st century skills.

The result is a much less passive learning experience and a much more real-world, competency-based teaching approach. Teachers, accordingly, are designing curriculums with student engagement and discovery in mind, which is becoming even more critical to the success of students. Organizations, such as Buck Institute for Education, are increasingly providing guidance and resources for project-based learning.

Read the full article published on Wired.com’s blog, Innovation Insights: New Thinking for a New Era.