A complete ecosystem for active learning and teaching in 21st Century Education 

Learning and Teaching Re-imagined  *   Future Education Today 

ALTE - Alternative Learning & Teaching Ecosystem

A culture of inquiry and evidence to unlock critical thinking and creativity based on an exchange of ideas and research around common themes and phenomenon learning.
 Improving learning outcomes through education technology and innovative assessment methods that support and inform instruction, provide accurate information
about what students know and can do, and measure student achievement to bridge gender and achievement gaps, preparing students for college readiness. 

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development  
Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI)  

UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers

Visit our page on Technology in K-12 education to learn why we are so committed to

promoting the United Nation's Information & Technology Competency Framework for


Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills - http://www.atc21s.org/
In 2008, Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corp. unveiled plans to sponsor a

research collaboration to accelerate global education reform by mobilizing the international

educational, political and business communities to help transform the teaching, learning and

measurement of 21st century skills. They were motivated by the fact that today’s curricula do

not fully prepare students to live and work in an information-age society. As a result, employers 

are often challenged with entry-level workers who lack the practical skills it takes to create,
build and help sustain an information-rich business. Although reading, writing, mathematics

and science are cornerstones of today’s education, curricula must go further to include skills

such as collaboration and digital literacy that will prepare students for 21st-century employment.

Establishing new forms of assessment can begin a fundamental change in how we approach

education worldwide.  

The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) project took place betwen 2010-2012
to focus on defining 21st Century skills and developing ways to measure them. Their purpose: 
empowering students to succeed utilizing assessment as a solid foundation. To make changes at
the classroom level, policy-makers need accurate information about the skills of the student population. Therefore, gathering that data through assessment was a critical component of the


The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the

world. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. Education is a priority, and in 2010 the OECD's

Center for Educational Research and Innovation launched its Innovation Strategy and Skills Strategy built around five priorities for government action, which together can underpin a strategic

and broad-based approach to promoting innovation for the 21st century. CERI’s Innovation Strategy for Education and Training explores new approaches to equip people with innovation skills

and to support radical innovation and continuous improvement in education systems. The project focuses its continued work around two strategic goals and feeds the OECD Skills Strategy:

     * Education and skills for innovation: What are the skills and qualifications needed in innovationdriven societies? What kind of education (curricula, pedagogies, assessments) fosters

these skills for innovation? This strand includes work on the impacts of arts, science and math education on such 21st century skills as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and curiosity. 

    *  Innovation and improvement in education: How can education systems facilitate self-sustained improvement, experimentation and radical innovation? Investment in research and

development, quasi-markets, curriculum and assessment policy, school and teaching organisation, technology, indicators are some of the possible levers for innovation in education. The

project assesses their effectiveness and how they can empower researchers, businesses, practitioners and users to innovate for better educational outcomes.

UNESCO ICT Competency Framework - www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/themes/icts/teacher-education/unesco-ict-competency-framework-for-teachers/

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can contribute to universal access to education, equity in education, the delivery of quality learning and teaching. In all regions of the world,

the penetration of ICTs in schools hasled to a major transformation of the education landscape, and are increasingly seen as an integral part of modern education systems. Policy-makers are

thus attentive to the need to ensure alignment between the development of ICT in society, their integration in schools and their use in pedagogy, where they can eventually transform pedagogy

and the creation of knowledge.

​The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has contributed to the ongoing debate on technology and learning by

launching a program of studies, consultation and exchange on policies on ICT in education. It is hoped that beyond providing useful information on

contemporary challenges for and approaches to public policies in the field of ICT in education. In 2011, UNESCO published "Transforming Education:

The Power of ICT Policies", offering useful insights into the experience of specific countries and offer road maps to help policy-makers better plan the

integration of technologies in education. In so doing, it will enable them to make the best use of ICT potential to transform learning and, ultimately, the

relationship between school systems and society. Download the publication at UNESCOor click on the publication cover.........

Building Cultural Capacity for Innovation - ​http://ikit.org/bcci/

BCCI  is an international design, research, and development effort to build cultural capacity for innovation in

developing and developed nations, at all educational and socioeconomic levels. It aims to develop citizens

who are socialized into a world-wide knowledge-creating culture and are intellectually engaged in their own

educational development.  

The BCCI model supports collaborative learning that thrives on complexity and idea diversity, where all members

of a learning community contribute theories regarding the solution to real-world problems. Like the BCCI, the

objectives of the ALTE model is to bring knowledge building into students' efforts to solve societal problems and

serve the public good, creating an effective way of acquiring important 21st Century skills while mastering content

that is well grounded in science and the humanities.


Learning from a 20+ year success of the BCCI (Building Cultural Capacity for Innovation) Network, a multi-nation design research project, we have designed an innovative K-12 pathway to

address the needs of a knowledge society with a replicable, scalable and cost-effective model for collaborative phenomenon learning around topics. The ALTE Learning and Teaching Ecosystem

brings together elements that are well-designed, highly researched and easily scalable and affordable to support all students in their learning, with the goals of improving student achievements

and outcomes while impacting student growth. The model also supports the acquisition of information and communication technology competencies required for effective teaching, and arming

students and teachers alike with skills to become global citizens in knowledge-based and innovation-driven societies.

ALTE also fits within several international frameworks for effective teaching and learning toward improving lives:

- With ALTE, educators are acquiring and mastering their own teaching skills, especially those aligned with the UNESCO framework for information and communication technology competencies. 

This framework outlines the competencies that teachers need to integrate ICTs into their professional practice, emphasizing the role that ICTs can play in supporting major education focus areas

across growth phases of knowledge acquisition.

​- The ALTE model addresses other important objectives of world-class thinking regarding innovation-driven societies for economic progress (the Organization for Economic Co-operation and

Development - OECD), innovative know-how required to deal with increasingly serious problems (Thomas Homer-Dixon), and innovation becoming "part and parcel of the ordinary", where

knowledge-based innovation is the hardest, but has the greatest potential benefits (Peter Drucker). These objectives are important to arrest a widening economic and cultural gap between

educational haves and have-nots, and we have an opportunity of bringing proven tools that have an impact on improving student achievement and student growth, can close achievement gaps,

decrease dropout rates, and increase high school graduation rates while address the needs of special student populations, including English learners down to the K-12 level, beginning with

students as young as 12 years of age.

An effective educator is one who has a lasting impact on students, embraces and masters technology to teach students born in the digital

age, and facilitates the acquisition of 21st Century skills for student success through the education process, in the workforce and in life.

Effective educators are well-prepared working in concert around a thoughtful, high-quality curriculum aligned to standards supported by

appropriate materials and assessments: elements that constitute a system that helps students to learn and educators to continue to improve.

We looked at several model education systems and focused on countries consistently at the top of international rankings of learning

assessments such as PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) regarding reading, mathematics, and science literacy. We found

that they had built high-quality education system for their children in primary and secondary education by rethinking teaching and learning.

They have drastically changed their education methods to introduce a curriculum based around "teaching by topic", where subject-specific

lessons, such as Geography, History, Economics, Biology, Eath Sciences, and others are reimagined by incorporating project-based learning

into a curriculum aligned to standards, where students are taught cross-subject topics, such as climactic change, sustainability, nutrition, and

economic trading zones that incorporate multi-disciplinary content. This is often referred to as “phenomenon learning”, and the effective use

of technology for content delivery and  the continued professional development of their educators - teachers, principals and support staff - is

key to its success.

These models also reimagine learning, where the format of the traditional, more passive approach to learning, is replaced by a more

collaborative method of learning. Instead of sitting and listening to the teacher, students are encouraged to work together to discuss and

solve problems in a collaborative small-group learning environment, led by the teacher who becomes a facilitator of learning rather than a

transmitter of pre-determined content. In this process, students acquire important 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, communication

and creativity, the “4Cs” of future education by implementing the model at schools,after-school programs and other learning environments.

The ALTE Learning and Teaching Ecosystem mimics those high-quality education systems by supporting the following elements:
*  Computer-supported collaborative learning around topics through the use of education technology developed specifically to

support the principles of knowledge-building pedagogy and a structure that supports a formative assessment of learning;
*  Teacher training in the use of education technology developed to support collaborative learning around topics through a multi-

disciplinary approach;
*  Bringing the technology into the classroom and developing a quasi-experimental design to evaluate improved learning;
*  Partnering classrooms world-wide to build relationships between students and between teachers;

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leaders around the world who

connect their students for improved

academic achievement and outcomes.