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Future of Ed- Pt 3

Part 3 of 7 - Community

By Sherrie Neff

Our community is blessed with many museums, as we said in part 2, yet in a thriving learning ecosystem, community collaborations offer more than each organization can offer alone. Working together to create a learning Hub is the goal.


A learning Hub within a community is often a space set up for students that include:

  • Technology - students benefit by having an alternative space outside the traditional classroom where studies can be researched, completed, and edited. This is not for social media of any kind.

  • Adult mentorship - serves as a connector and broker of information, resources, and relationships students desire in any area.

  • Create networks of accessible, experiential education opportunities.

  • Using a hands-on exploration of studies and teaching changemaker skills.

  • Connecting to thousands of other colleges, museums, libraries, and educational institutions offers students unlimited access to innovation.

These learning Hubs are successful nationwide, and The Henry Ford is the model for creating curricula and collaboration that inspire innovation and changemaker skills.


In Pittsburgh, the Fred Rogers foundation has done the same citywide. They are using new pioneers in education efforts - gamers, robotics, technologists, and designers are working alongside educators to make education more fun and technology more useful. "It is an education revolution," according to Gregg Behr, Executive Director of The Grable Foundation. https://www.aam-us.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Building-the-Future-of-Education.pdf


Whether the Hub is in a library or a museum matters less than the space that differs from a classroom. It is more like a lab. The technology has specific programs, links, applications, and software designed for students to find the information they seek and gain insight and inspiration for their research. Programs like OnInnovation.com, a digital curriculum that inspires innovation and thinking, connect students to stories of legendary innovators and thinkers today. The skills are developed in the methodology of instruction.


Adult mentorship is different because the student directs the journey. The adult guides them to the resources and relationships the student desires. For example, an art student may want to determine how to scale down their project to make preliminary scans for an art project proposal. This proposal is for a job, and they have the skills to do it. The adult then guides them to an artist network created or joined by the Hub, where other artists chat about different aspects of their successes and failures.


Hands-on applications such as laser printers and STEAM projects are available along with the technology. The inclusivity of hands-on learners is imperative to create an equal learning atmosphere.



Last but not least, the Hub is connected to innovation resources around the globe. According to the 2023 report Building the Future of Education by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), education must be linked globally. https://www.oecd.org/education/future-of-education-brochure.pdf


I know many great minds in our community and several community organizations that Great Falls could revolutionize the learning ecosystem for our future and our youth that will be leading it!

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