Designing the Future of Teaching and Learning

The Concord Consortium gathers thought leaders to synthesize research, exchange innovative ideas for education technology, and make progress on educational issues of design, interoperability, data, and equity.
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The following framing questions inspired the community to envision the future of teaching and learning:

  • What should learning look like in 2030?
  • What role will new or yet-unimagined technologies play in augmenting and supporting learning?
  • How will information and data help teachers and mentors provide an ongoing ecosystem of support?
  • How will all of these factors work together across learners' lives in ways that equip them for meaningful contributions as global citizens?

Big Ideas

During the summit, participants spent time working in small groups to imagine learning in the future and to surface potential educational technology opportunities and challenges faced by school-aged students exemplified by six fictional personas. Participants worked in small groups to sketch, discuss, and capture their ideas onto large paper templates. These initial visions turned into suggestions for shared actions. The summit also included inspirational talks, a facilitated panel of speakers, technology demonstrations, idea generation activities including a "wall of inspiration," informal meeting time, and an open discussion. Through these various activities, participants began to craft a vision for learning in the future.

Themes and Insights from Designing 2030 Convenings

Every learner needs a "village." Digital technologies need to support and wrap around learners, not isolate them.

  • Build aligned supports with both people and technologies.
  • Find the right mentors; it's not easy, but critically important.
  • Design learning activity systems, not just technologies.
  • Blur the lines between information resources and learning resources.
  • Support the "afterlife" of learning beyond a classroom.
  • Foster communal computing.
  • Use technology as an experience not to disrupt enjoyment of the outdoors or face-to-face, hands-on work.

Technology should be purposefully designed to support systems and the learners within them.

  • Design simulations and virtual labs to truly engage learners.
  • Consider using artificial intelligence (AI) to support learning, including using AI to teach learners to program AI.
  • Use learning sciences research to design for collaboration and learning activity systems.
  • Design continuous improvement systems.

Learners must be supported as they go deep, gaining expertise in areas important to them and their goals, and supports must also help them expand.

  • Create networks of opportunity and relationship for youth to connect their interests.
  • Support micro-credentialing and micro-vetting.
  • Use technology to help learners discover things they aren't interested in.
  • Design technologies that can improve the use of portfolios to document and reflect on learning, and communicate that learning.

Young people and families should create, control, and own their data.

  • Design for equity, justice, and inclusion.
  • Create spaces for students to do the unexpected and be ready to be surprised.
  • Move beyond monitoring and surveillance of students.
  • Make students' stories and voices part of the experience.
  • Empower learners to be creators and producers with technology.


We dreamed big and brainstormed visions of a future learning environment for 2030. Hear from participant voices and explore the technologies inspired by our Designing 2030 summit.

Preview for Summer Workshop Video
Learner of the Future