The New Learning Institute brings next-generation educational experiences to young people wherever they are ready to learn: in schools, community programs, libraries, and museums – even the city streets. We believe that 21st century students need 21st century skills; skills that build on core subject matter and encourage innovative thinking and problem solving, an understanding of systems, facility with information technology and devices, social skills like team building and collaboration, and, perhaps most important, the ability to pursue lifelong learning.
Too often today’s classroom lags behind the everyday experience and expertise of students who live in a world of constant change, remote and instant access to information, mobile communications, and online social networking. Mobile applications are changing the way information is delivered, accessed, and produced; and, because of this, young people increasingly view themselves not merely as consumers of media but as producers, publishers, and participators.
Many young people are already fluent with these everyday technologies yet find them largely absent from their daily educational experiences.
The goal of the New Learning Institute is to harness the excitement and potential of these new technologies as tools for learning both inside and outside the classroom. In our professional development workshops, our classroom residencies, and all of our programs we employ the latest in mobile communications technology, including the new generation of applications that are transforming the way people access and use information and media.
In an NLI program, students take charge of their own learning as they progress from planning to execution and publication, either online, through social networking sites, or in public venues. Their work then becomes part of the educational experience of other students, who can review and model these examples as they pursue their own educational goals. This hands-on, student-centered approach to problem solving motivates students to pursue interests at their own pace and with their own objectives; at the same time, it helps them acquire essential 21st century skills that emphasize innovative thinking, collaborative problem solving, and the utilization of digital media to help them tackle complex tasks.
The revolution in communication technology represents an important opportunity to rethink how and where learning takes place. Today’s students know instinctively that learning can be dynamic, exciting, and integrated into every aspect of their lives. They are already exploring - often without realizing it - the vast potential of these technologies. The New Learning Institute wants to join and guide young people in this exploration and, in the process, help them cultivate the skills, motivation, and knowledge they need for success.