We believe, education is a human right. Education can empower every person in the world to address social challenges and level the playing field. The universal Right to Education seems within reach – we can force-multiply teachers by enabling them to personalize learning for their students. And fuel the students’ passion to learn and realize their human potential.
Education is the genetic underpinning that governs development of the individual. Human potential is realized through learning and awareness. Excellence and equity in education is the foundation for social justice. For developing nations, education is the passport out of poverty and for developed nations education ensure they stay competitive. As humans embark on the learning journey, social justice follows like a shadow
Today, the mobile web connects all seven billion people democratizing the production and consumption of information. Everyone is a first-class citizen of the digital ecosystem that creates new possibilities. There is abundance of digital learning resources for every learning style and every concept. Technology has advanced to helps us understand every learner and relate learning moments in highly personalized ways.
We approach honoring the human right to education by cultivating a coalition that brings complementary capabilities, overlapping competencies and a shared mission. We are developing a learning architecture that is owned by the community, supports entrepreneurial pursuits and benefits humankind. We are innovating with design and technology to create communities of learners, experts and developers who will support personal learning journeys for everyone.
Education has become our basis of competition and a means to an end. Measurements alter behavior to optimize for the metric. By scaffolding learning with assignments, quizzes and grades to call it education, we have distracted the learner and altered the focus of education. Learning is a personal journey. Learning happens through a conversation with a storyteller where the story is individualized to produce engagement. Learning is not measured in terms of success, but felt through a sense of fulfillment. We should re-focus education back to learning and away from measurements.
Learning is the a-ha experience every individual has when they relate new information to what they already know. As humans, we respond vastly differently to the same instruction – our learning is molded by our unique biology and experiences. Learning is organic, non-causal and governed by complex-system dynamics. We should unburden education from the scaffolding of assignments, quizzes and grades to restore the pleasure in learning.
To provide learning experience at scale that brings meaning to every learner, we need to foster, cultivate and engage a learning ecosystem that can collectively support every learner’s needs and interests. Ecosystems, as the web has shown, are best enabled through common abstractions. The ecosystem of learning apps, services and resources can be marked up, synthesized in ways to interoperate and presented in engaging ways to surround humankind with learning.
Rapid pace of innovation across all spheres demands that the solution for personalized learning keeps pace with the growing expectations of the learners. This is best achieved by engaging an open community of learners, educators, researchers and developers, who can ensure that learners have the best that the world has to offer. By designing technology that brings communities together, we can ensure that the solution for personalized learning is confluent with the future.
Learning moments surround us. Bringing back the joy of learning to education, relating learning to every individual, and to experience learning as a personal fulfillment demand that we re-imagine learning. There is an engagement gap in learning because of poor experience and irrelevance. This needs to be bridged. A human-centered design that relates learning to individual experiences will make learning joyful and engaging.
Learning moments surround all of us everyday and seizing those moments is falling in love with learning. When people enjoy the experience of learning, their passion to learn gets ignited. As we re-imagine learning, our focus is to understand the learner, not profile them. We go beyond user needs to a learners desire to make an emotional connect. By being cognizant of what surrounds the learner we go beyond user-centric approaches to a human-centered design. We collectively refer to these as a Human-first approach to learning.
All reforms in learning are singularly dependent on the learner wanting to learn. Learners have to find meaning in what they learn to commit themselves as active learners. Reconciling the objective facts and understanding them through the learner’s own subjective and emotional lenses creates meaning and that is the moment of learning. Understanding the learner, their prior experiences, current context, and their interests and affinities allow us to facilitate learning in context.
Our design approach is founded in contextual inquiry that celebrates human uniqueness. Profiling a user, benchmarking and segmenting them or stopping at knowing their needs undermines their uniqueness as a human. By understanding the learner, going beyond their needs to understand their wants and desires and making an emotional connect with the learner, we can deliver personal relevance to help them find meaning in new learning by reconciling what is presented to them within their own subjectivity.
I want to hear about your design ideas, technology tools, and how we can spread education across the world. Regardless of how our organizations are structured or your personal views, our operating principle is that everything we have to offer is free and open. We are impatient, we do not want another generation of students to go without meaningful education. Let’s connect and support students realize their full potential by incorporating human-centered design to produce effective, human-first learning.
Let’s collaborate. I am eager to hear from you.
Write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org