Last year saw a flurry of activity in support of personalized learning, new school designs, and new approaches to K-12 education policy. Looking ahead, education innovators have their work cut out for them in 2018. Some of this work requires asking hard questions. Some require acknowledging that there’s an elephant in the room. And some requires looking beyond our current conversation to where the next waves of innovation stand to emerge.

Here are five ways I’m hoping the K-12 education innovation agenda moves forward in 2018:

  1. Unpack “just-in-time supports." -One of the core elements of a high-quality competency-based model is students receiving just-in-time supports.
  2. Stop debating technology, start debating constructivism and behaviorism.-The ever-simmering edtech debate is starting to boil over. Commentators are stuck arguing whether tech is good or bad, whether personalized learning is synonymous with robot teachers or high-touch teaching, whether technology is under-researched or offers a high payoff.
  3. Revisit accountability. And then revisit it again.-Unpacking those pedagogical tensions will inevitably require a hard look at current accountability regimes and the sorts of instructional models that high-stakes testing tends to encourage.
  4. Start talking about students’ networks. -The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s new K-12 education strategy hinges on networks of continuous improvement—that is, connecting groups of schools and adults to adapt and improve instruction.
  5. Look internationally for disruptive plays in education. -Speaking of disruption, in the coming years we suspect that international players will start to have far greater sway in the U.S. education innovation conversation.

Read the full article about the future of education by Julia Freeland Fisher at Christensen Institute.