Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Six Elements of Next-Gen Learning Platforms

I had the fortune to meet Tom VanderArk at iNacol's Virtual School Symposium last night. He shared he had just come up with six element of Next-Gen Learning platforms which I could find on his blog http://edreformer.com. A hop over there lead me to his latest post with these six ideas for learning platforms.
  1. Widget rich social learning platform that makes it easy for teachers to customize learning for groups of students (and groups of teachers)
  2. Engaging content tagged to Common Core: objects, lessons, units, and adaptive sequences; both open and proprietary
  3. Data warehouse that extracts key elements from the flood of key stroke data from learning applications (games, sims, virtual environments, adaptive sequences, etc)
  4. Comprehensive learner profile that accepts input from after-school, summer-school, tutoring, test-prep and informal learning providers and has facebook-like privacy management profile
  5. Smart recommendation engine that develops a customized multi-modal instructional playlist for every student
  6. Aligned services support students (eg tutoring), teachers (eg, PD) and schools (improvement services)

This is a great start that I'm sure will grow and grow.

To do this, he believes it will cost more than $250m, and that will require 1) aggregated demand of >2m students, 2) a consortium of private vendors, and 3) philanthropic investment to mitigate risk and promote equity.

I wonder if, to do this, rather than $250m, we just need to open source the whole thing and have educators abound just start sharing.

Check out Tom's other insights here or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tvanderark


  1. Howabout friendly web 2.0 designs that doesn't make learning feel like a hospital visit? White is not exactly the easiest color on the eyes, and if we are expecting students to read then shouldn't we use a less slightly less stressful color and way a set of way bigger fonts?

  2. You should check out eGenio.com. I think we have developed what Tom might be looking for. An engaging, easy to use, easy to learn platform.