Enabling Change
Enabling Change

Next generation learning is all about everyone in the system—from students through teachers to policymakers—taking charge of their own learning, development, and work. That doesn’t happen by forcing change through mandates and compliance. It happens by creating the environment and the equity of opportunity for everyone in the system to do their best possible work.

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NGLC Update: NGLC is going independent, our email addresses are changing, and we have ambitious plans for the future as servant leaders for next gen learning and reimagining K-12 education.

NGLC has invested in and partnered deeply with leading educators and researchers to define the academic and life skills that today’s students need in order to thrive in a challenging, rapidly changing world. Those capabilities include:

  • Recognizing the profound power of learning—and knowing how to learn
  • Collaborating effectively while also developing the agency and ability to lead
  • Seeing opportunities where many see only problems

The central premise of our current Next Gen Change Management Project is that schools, districts, and CMOs committed to fostering these capabilities and other 21st-century skills need to be the change they are seeking for their students.

All of this applies to NGLC every bit as much as it applies to today’s students and the organizations directly serving them.

Nine years after our launch as a ground-breaking partnership of four leading education non-profits with EDUCAUSE in the managing role, NGLC is “graduating” from our parent organization and becoming an independent initiative, part of the expansive family of social-purpose groups supported by the non-profit Tides Center. Our goal is to build on the reputation, capabilities, knowledge, and networks we have developed since 2010 to become servant leaders for next gen learning nationwide. We are more convinced than ever of the need for K-12 public education in the U.S. to fundamentally reimagine itself—its goals, its learning models, its operating structures and processes and roles. The demands of the 21st century require nothing less.

To all of you who already know us and our work: you may not notice much of a difference right off the bat, from this organizational transition. Our email addresses are changing from educause.edu to nextgenlearning.org, matching our website; any contracts and grants we conduct with you will now flow through Tides rather than through EDUCAUSE.

Over time, though, we suspect that you will see a deeper level of change. We have ambitious plans to build out NGLC Services, the new set of consulting and professional learning programs we launched this past winter. We have a similarly proactive vision for the Transforming Learning Collaborative (TLC)—a blossoming ecosystem of next gen educator-to-educator professional learning designed to connect leading practitioners with early adopters who want mentoring from peers who have actually done the work. Note that phrase, “educator-to-educator.” Peer-to-peer professional learning, incorporating all of the elements of the next gen learning approaches envisioned for students, will be a central hallmark of all that NGLC does.

NGLC Services and the TLC, along with place-based deep-dives like our Mass IDEAS project in Massachusetts, will immerse us in the hard challenges and bright opportunities of next gen learning at the classroom, school, district, and community level. We’ll still be offering grants designed to challenge the field to reimagine itself, for sure; the need to catalyze innovation and new approaches is sharper and deeper than ever. But now we’ll be able to shape our innovation-design work with the benefit of a consistent application-and-feedback loop through the services we provide.

Educators: this is your time. As we wrote in a recent article about next gen change management: “Practitioners of Transformation Science tend to cast the work as an opportunity to think and act differently, rather than as a problem to be solved.” Here’s to all of you out there, working to seize that opportunity. We look forward to supporting your efforts to enable all kids—and, let’s say it, all people—across the nation to thrive in the 21st century.

Andy Calkins headshot

Andy Calkins

Co-Director, NGLC

As co-director for NGLC, Andy Calkins helps to lead strategy development, organizational management, and program execution across all phases of the initiative.