RETHINK: Planning and Designing for K-12 Next Generation Learning


This toolkit from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is for K-12 district, charter, and school leaders to use in the very early stages of conceptualizing and designing a next generation learning program, initiative, or whole school. Rather than offering a prescriptive model to follow, the toolkit helps educators figure out their own goals in blended, personalized, competency-based learning and the pathway to change that best fits their community and students. It organizes the most helpful publications, websites, and tools available today around four key issues: understanding next generation learning models; planning for and managing change; designing next generation learning opportunities; and engaging the planning team and stakeholders in the process. Because few practitioner-created tools exist in this emerging field, the toolkit highlights the essential questions to ask throughout the planning and design process as well as the communities of experts, practitioners, and learners to connect with and learn from.

This toolkit complements two other publications from NGLC. The first is a white paper that lays out a conceptual framework for the six dimensions required of next generation learning and includes current examples of how schools are activating each of those dimensions. The second is a set of profiles of NGLC-funded breakthrough school models. The 2-page profiles offer practical, real-world snapshots of emerging models, what they look like in practice, and the kinds of strategies they're adopting.

The toolkit also extends iNACOL’s New Learning Models work, which is designed to accelerate the development of effective online, blended, and competency-based models of learning. This effort involves creating a collaboratively-developed vision, setting a research agenda, policy and advocacy efforts, and sharing existing knowledge and promising practices. The toolkit adds to the set of practitioner-minded resources available from iNACOL to further advance blended, online, and competency-based models and ultimately support effective learning opportunities for students.

To learn more about NGLC, visit To learn more about iNACOL, visit

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