Resource Summary

Underlying the significant social and technical changes of our increasingly global society is a profound transformation in the very nature of learning. Twenty-first-century learners view themselves as dynamic agents in multimedia and global environments. These learners create complex social networks and operate comfortably in them. They learn experientially in real and virtual worlds alike. They express their views and make their lives public with ease. Many of these learners show greater interest in the global environment and human rights than their immediate predecessors. As the recent elections suggest, many are increasingly willing to organize around public matters online and from the grassroots up. New learning presents important challenges as well. As the world “flattens,” global proximity can yield discomfort and sharp retreat to local values. Virtual spaces are misused, information misinterpreted, virtual identities misconstrued, social networks misguided. This generation experiences pressure to perform, to succeed, to move at a fast and efficient pace, with little time for self- reflection or developing deep understanding of the changing world in which we live.