Imagine a Future in which Learning is for Life

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Imagine a Future in which Learning is for Life

Imagine a Future in Which Learning Is for Life

Graphic heading: Imagine a Future in which Learning is for Life

Published September 5, 2018 | Written by Monet Fort

In this ideal future, scholars return to places of learning continuously to learn more. Each learner is equipped with high-tech pedagogical tools that are customized to their unique talents and aspirations. Imagine also that the quest for this future has already begun.

Video: Watch to explore what deliberate innovation means to the future of education.


The quest begins at Georgia Tech with the Commission for Creating the Next in Education (CNE). Looking forward to the year 2040, the Commission has devised a strategic map for navigating the changing landscape of academia and inspiring the pioneers of innovation. The velocity of technology demands that these pioneers become persistent learners. This persistence requires access to lifelong hubs of sophisticated educational resources.

The Georgia Tech Commitment requires a change  of mindset as future students begin to see us as  a partner for their entire lives.  -Rafael L. Bras, Provost

The overarching recommendation of the Commission is a proposal called the Georgia Tech Commitment to a Lifetime Education — a promise to students to provide an educational experience that is highly individualized and sustainable for a lifetime as personal and professional needs change.
On the center of our strategic map, a model hub is being structured around five core initiatives.

Whole Person Education

New Products and Services


Advising for a New Era

AI and Personalization

A Distributed Worldwide Presence

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Whole Person Education

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In a globally connected world, innovation and problem solving are accomplished most effectively by individuals who are sharp, self-aware, and cooperative. Georgia Tech is supporting learners holistically in these three areas:

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Cognitive Skills:
problem solving, creativity, critical thinking

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Interpersonal Skills:
communications, teamwork, leadership

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Intrapersonal Skills:
adaptability, initiative, discipline, ethics, persistence

Video: Listen to Vice Provost Bonnie Ferri discuss how Georgia Tech will meet the demands for a customizable, flexible learning experience.



New Products and Services

Heading graphic: New Products and Services

The lifelong learners of the present and future need a variety of ways to obtain education and training. They need to be able to study while also working and living full lives. Georgia Tech is expanding flexible learning options, ensuring they are well organized and documented so that institutions and employers will recognize them and their credibility is assured. Examples include:

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Short Courses

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Advising for a New Era

Heading graphic: Advising for a New Era

Envision a future in which each learner posesses an interactive database of their own educational timeline. This database would be augmented with a human-aware AI that coaches learners through meeting their goals throughout their education and careers. Georgia Tech intends to develop an advising resource that will provide this sort of precise assistance to long-term learners.

Students speaking with instructors and peers

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AI and Personalization

Heading graphic: AI and Personalization

Researchers are constantly discovering new things about the various ways we learn. Those discoveries allow us to develop educational formats that are uniquely effective for each individual. By leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, educators have the ability to observe how each student learns and devise personalized teaching tools for them. Georgia Tech educators are looking to AI to help tomorrow’s students leverage their own particular cognition.

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Video: Hear Rich DeMillo share the vision for 2040 developed by the Georgia Tech community.

If we can study the success and failures of educational innovation,  we’ll get better at innovating as time goes on… that may be the most disruptive idea in the whole report.   -Rich DeMillo,  Executive Director, Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U)

A Distributed Worldwide Presence

Heading graphic: A Distributed Worldwide Presence

Our vision of a college campus is expanding. While a physical campus offers community and face-to-face learning, online classes provide flexibility and accessibility. Georgia Tech is working on two projects that will bridge the gap between on-campus and virtual learning. The Georgia Tech atrium™ is a scalable gathering place located anywhere in the world for Georgia Tech students to learn, create, and research. Each atrium will include the Library Store and the University Learning Store. An atrium might also contain career service centers, personal counseling and advising studios, an Invention Studio, and space for meetups associated with Georgia Tech’s online courses.

A second project, The Human Library, allows readers to interact with “human books,” volunteers with different backgrounds and social experiences. The volunteers are “on loan” to their “readers” for face-to-face conversations during organized events. The Human Library helps its users gain different perspectives on problems and events.

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Video: Learn from Provost Rafael L. Bras why Georgia Tech is leading the effort to define future models for higher education.


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Georgia Tech’s educators and learners are on a visionary quest to make education more accessible, individual, and meaningful for future learners. Join the quest by joining the conversation. What do you envision for the future of education?


Rich DeMillo

Rich DeMillo
Executive Director,
Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U)
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Writing and Design: Monet Fort
Editor: Daniel Treadaway

In the News

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July 2018

The future of college education: Students for life, computer advisers and campuses everywhere

April 2018

Georgia Tech Envisions ‘Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education’ in New Report

May 2018

This Is What Georgia Tech Thinks College Will Look Like in 2040