What does a learner look like? Is he old or young? Is she tall or short? Does a learner have to wear glasses or have white hair? Where will the learner be found? Will he be looking down at the pages of a book, facing a computer screen, or looking up at the stars? Consider the child in front of you. Nobody learns better than a curious kid.
Learning is doing, exploring; it’s a mixture of scientific inquiry, curiosity, and artistic creativity. And children have these qualities in abundance. Adults don’t grow up, they grow old, but deep inside everyone can still be a kid at heart.
Now imagine tomorrow’s learner. Will she be sitting at a desk staring at a chalkboard while listening to a lecture? Will he be sitting at a table handwriting a report using an encyclopedia? No, they will not. They will use every technology and every technique that allows them to explore this natural, inborn curiosity about every subject. They will be walking around with a video camera. They will be talking together online. They will collaborate. They will share. They will work together, work smarter, and work harder to produce, make, and create as they do, explore, and immerse themselves.
And they will be excited. And they will learn. And they will be prepared to grow up and enter the adult world, but they will not forget what they have learned or how they have learned it. He will meet the challenge of holding 15 different jobs over his lifetime by constantly learning new skills. She will pursue her dream across 5 continents speaking 3 languages while working for 1 global company. His hair will eventually turn gray. She will need glasses. But both will continue to look up at the stars in wonder each night for each will still be a learner inside.