Learning Ecosystems – Designing Vibrant and Purposeful Learning Communities

Special Focus : Designing Vibrant and Purposeful Learning Communities
Learning Ecosystems and Leadership December 15, 2020

In the past months, the notion of “learning anytime, anywhere” turned into an everyday reality for millions of learners who found themselves locked out of schools and universities due to the coronavirus pandemic. This global crisis also made the world realize that effective learning doesn’t only happen in schools. In fact, it relies on an entire ecosystem – one that comprises multiple actors, diverse tools including technology and content. The global education community realized the need and the importance of learning ecosystems in our rapidly changing contexts. A recent research report by SKOLKOVO and Global Education Futures highlighted how learners, families, communities, and multi-stakeholder collaboratives around the world are creating alternative approaches for how we learn together now and in the future. 

Learning Ecosystems are gaining momentum as a means to drive individual performance and to foster innovation in society at large. Learning Ecosystems are where all forms of learning, formal, informal, and lifelong, happen. They can create flexible and radically personalized learning pathways that learners need in order to adapt and evolve in a rapidly changing world. A strong Learning Ecosystem is in fact a truly human learning environment wherein communities can achieve their social, economic, and environmental goals such as the SDGs.

As highlighted by the first WISE-Learning Ecosystems report Local Learning Ecosystems: Emerging Models, there is a clear growing (academic) interest in the concept of Learning Ecosystems, a growing number of projects and initiatives labeled as “Learning Ecosystems” and an ongoing effort to modelize existing Learning Ecosystems initiatives.

Theoretical foundations of Learning Ecosystems are steadily growing stronger but education stakeholders still lack access to knowledge and practical guidelines on how to build and manage Learning Ecosystems.

In the coming months, we invite you to join us on a learning expedition to deep dive into what it takes to design, build, and deliver a Learning Ecosystem. Through a series of workshops, virtual convenings, and essays, we will explore a variety of questions such as defining the purpose of a Learning Ecosystem, determining the community that should be part of this Ecosystem,  designing a governance model, and identifying the relevant models to assess and measure learning outcomes. 

We at WISE are excited to set up a Living Lab that will provide a practical framework to build local coalitions for inclusive, accessible, and effective learning opportunities. 

Stay tuned and join the journey to make our learning world more collaborative, relevant, and effective.