You can also visit the project here on the ThingLink website.

Project: Produce an Alternative Media Item

Topic: A Day in the Life in the Future: K-12 Student in 2026

I used ThingLink for this project to explore the future of education 10 years from now. It was fun because I incorporated elements of virtual reality, which is already being used in schools and work environments. My prediction is that school will be organized less by age and time, and more according to Personal Learning Plans.

With our readings this semester, especially Andreas Schleicher’s talk on World Education Systems, inspired me to look more closely at Personal Learning Plans, because I think this concept will expand and change the current way schools are structured. Traditionally, our schools are organized in grades and sorted by age. Students move through the curriculum at the same pace. The whole system is designed according to time. We are starting to see a de-emphasis of this in online where students can work through individual tracks of the curriculum at their own pace. It’s especially prevalent with Gamification models, where students choose from a vast array of lessons to complete, any number of which would meet their individual learning goals.

Some brick and mortar schools are changing too, where kids can jump levels of their core classes in favor of working where they are better suited. Davidson Academy in Reno Nevada is one school that has successfully debunked the notion of age-based progression. The academy’s classes group students by ability rather than age. Every student has a PLP, based on ability and their interests. The goal isn’t learning outcomes, but achievement through engagement.

I think in 5+ years we’ll see more schools popping up like this in K-12 that focus more on knowing the student and building flexible learning plans. I know the argument is that it’s just not feasible at this point, but it just seems to make more sense.