The Next Sesame Street Is Digital: Michael Levine On 21st Century Learning

Earlier this week I attended my first TEDxAtlanta, and the topic was Re:learn. As you’d expect, the speakers were among the country’s leading minds on the transformation of learning. The program was designed by Tod Martin and his Unboundary team to explore two critical questions: What do we need to be learning? And how should we learn it?

For many of our own startup reasons, I was excited to spend time Michael Levine who is the Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Joan Ganz Cooney was the original impetus behind Sesame Street and had a radical assumption in the late 1960s: that children could learn via television. Everyone knows how successful the show has been, but it now reaches 100 million children and their families in over 140 countries.

And guess what? The Center’s mission has now shifted completely to defining digital entertainment as the next frontier for children’s learning. And they’ve got the track record to make it happen… The reality is technology reinvents itself every five years, but the educational system has essentially been the same since the 1880s.

If you have young children, Michael Levine may among the most influential people you’ll probably never meet face-to-face. But his work and writings certainly are the blueprint for the future of learning. Enjoy the video below:

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