Education as we know it has changed.

Today’s learning is no longer limited to schools; it goes well beyond school walls to parks, community centers, museums and technology.

This was the topic of the Center for Civic Engagement Future40 Series event, Learning Landscapes, on July 23 at the New Children’s Museum. Education innovation expert, Dr. Milton Chen of the George Lucas Foundation, spoke to San Diego educators, business owners, and community leaders about the importance of sharing innovation and building a new future for education.

From the moment children wake up to the moment they fall asleep, the opportunities for learning are abundant.

With the growth of technology and access to new learning tools, we can no longer think of education in a singular way, shared Dr. Chen. He underscored, “We must leverage the world outside our educational institutions to help our youth in any place, at any pace. In this new learning landscape, we should all think of ourselves as both teachers and learners.”

Take for example Rokenbok and Fab Lab, two organizations that were on hand before the event to showcase their education tools. Both utilize emerging technologies and hands-on learning to teach children and adults alike.

Future of Education

“Application of knowledge is becoming a more highly valued attribute in today’s world,” emphasized Katie Rast, Director of Fab Lab. “Learning areas such as computer science and engineering fundamentals are expanding to become more commonplace as we push to create a globally competitive education environment.”

This means incorporating interactive projects and innovative tools into everyday activities to build a true learning landscape.

As Paul Eichen, Executive Director of Rokenbok, put it, “With progressively challenging hands-on STEM experiences, we can give children the skills and confidence to know that they can change the world.”

But no single organization or person can enact these changes alone. As moderator Navrina Singh of Qualcomm’s Innovation Program ImpaQt said, “It’s imperative that the right stakeholders are part of this conversation.” This means educators, politicians, business owners and families.

Future of Education

If we can engage every person and organization that connects with San Diego’s youth, we can link school life to real life and build pathways for the future.

And this is why The San Diego Foundation Future40 dialogue about education was the first step in the process. As CEO Kathlyn Mead said in closing, “we want to ensure San Diego youth are poised to become our next generation of leaders.”

Watch moderator Navrina Singh’s interview with Chen and audience Q&A from the event here >

San Diego has the diverse culture, expansive natural park system and a hotbed of technology innovation, shared Dr. Chen.

He painted a promising future, saying, “San Diego has all the active ingredients to make this work. Now it’s up to the community to take action.”

Did you miss the event but want to join the ongoing Future40 conversation?

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