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Next Generation Learning

Next Generation Learning

Next generation learning (NxGL) is a phrase used to capture a number of different approaches to education.  Sometimes it refers to blended/online learning, and sometimes it refers to a vision for a customized education system. Within this larger vision, digital learning is an important tool.

The Council of Chief State School Officers  has embraced next generation learning as one of the most important roles for state leadership. Working in partnership with nine states, the CCSSO has defined Next Generation Learners as rooted in six critical attributes, or essential conditions.

  • Planning for Personalized Learning calls for a data-driven framework to set goals, assess progress, and ensure students receive the academic and developmental support they need.
  • Comprehensive Systems of Learning Supports address physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development along a continuum of services, availing opportunities for success to all students.
  • World-Class Knowledge and Skills require achievement goals to sufficiently encompass the content knowledge and skills required for success in a globally oriented world.
  • Performance-Based Learning puts students at the center of the learning process by enabling the demonstration of mastery based on high, clear, and commonly shared expectations. (This is the same as competency-based learning.)
  • Anytime, Everywhere Opportunities provide constructive learning experiences in all aspects of a child’s life, through both the geographic and the Internet-connected community. (This includes expanded learning opportunities such as after school activities and community service.)
  • Authentic Student Voice is the deep engagement of students in directing and owning their individual learning and shaping the nature of the education experience among their peers.


  • If the education system was designed around these concepts, how might we begin to think about school design, district functions, accountability systems?  What would be possible that isn’t possible right now? Where might there be equity concerns that would need to be addressed upfront?
  • Case Study:  In 2012 an Albuquerque Public School student who was failing an English course signed up for a course at Southwest Learning Center. Over the weekend he spent 50 hours completing the course in an online program and was able to graduate with his class?  What do you think about this and why?
Want to know more?
  • Innosight Institute has information on blended learning models.
  • iNACOL offers standards for high-quality online learning.
  • Students at the Center provides summary of research on issues related to student-centered learning.
  • CompetencyWorks offers resources on policy and practices for competency or performance-based education.

Asset-Based Innovation: Good Stuff Happening in New Mexico

  •  Education 360
  • The Media Arts Collaborative Charter School is using the “flipped” classroom in its math classes.  Students watch videos on math topics before they come to class and work on tasks in the classroom so the teacher can see where they are having difficulties and provide extra help.
  • New Mexico Virtual Academy is providing online courses to any student in the state. This can be a powerful way of increasing access to high-level and dual-language courses and electives for students.
  • IDEAL-NM (Innovative Digital Education and Learning–NM) offers the infrastructure so that teachers can put all or some of their curriculum online.

 Respectful: Engage, Inquire, and Explore

  •  Tribal Sovereignty: How can next generation learning increase our ability to provide customized learning that supports students who are preparing for tribal responsibilities, as well as college and careers?
  • Children and Families: How do families feel about online and next generation learning? What benefits and/or difficulties are being seen when increasing the availability of online learning?
  • Educators: What supports do teachers need to provide online curriculum? Are the colleges of education preparing teachers to be successful as digital opportunities are increased?

World View: Multilingual & Multi-Perspective

  • How can online and next generation learning help our students become multilingual?
  • How might we use online and next generation learning to help students develop stronger global education skills?

 Holistic: Child-Centric Design

  • How might online and next generation learning help us respond better to the needs and interests of our children, especially those children who are the most under-served by districts and schools?

Urgency: High Leverage

  • What have other states done to implement systemic reforms around online and next generation learning?
    •  Keeping Pace provides an annual snapshot of how online learning is unfolding.
  •  New Hampshire has implemented a competency-based system, eliminating credits based on seat-time at the high school level. How might competency education be valuable in New Mexico?