Getting Started - Real World Learning

Real World Learning is an approach to learning that involves schools working with community partners and industry experts to engage students in authentic, relevant problems, projects, and experiences that develop career awareness and readiness.

When students participate in learning experiences where they can engage with authentic audiences and purposes, they see that their academic work has meaning beyond the walls of the classroom.

People working together at a table

Implementing Real World Learning can be a daunting endeavor. To help and support you in your decision-making process we’re providing sets of unique resources:

The Builder

a hardhat

Strategies for administrators who are implementing real world learning school- and district-wide

The Roadmap

a school bus

Turn-by-turn guidance to the destinations where educators and real world partners meet

The Resources

A moleskine notebook and pencil

Organizations, case studies, and more to support your Real World Learning journey

a hard hat

The Strategic Framework Builder

Digital Promise’s Real World Learning Builder enables school and district leaders to develop their Real World Learning strategy and implementation plan. Complete self-assessments to establish benchmarks for each of the 7 pillars in the Real World Learning Framework, then select strategies to support growth.

A plan for Real World Learning encompasses 7 components:

Vision

an eyeball

Defining Real World Learning, intended outcomes, and aligning to strategic initiatives

We consider the Vision pillar to be key: All stakeholders should have a shared definition and vision of what they hope to achieve by implementing Real World Learning.

Implementation

Paper with a map marker

Team building, consensus building, and communications

Community Partners

Three people working together

Formal, strategic partnerships with community organizations to promote mutual goals

Curriculum

Apple on a book

Design and revision to integrate Real World Learning experiences for students

Measures

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Quantitative and qualitative tools to evaluate the impact of Real World Learning and support continuous improvement

Professional Learning

a mortarboard cap

Scaffolded supports to increase teachers’ understanding of 21st century career demands and enhance their ability to effectively implement Real World Learning

Support Structures

3 circles interlinked

Resources, policies, and funding to facilitate Real World Learning implementation

Each component offers a set of strategies to help teams address key questions.

Guiding Question

Red alert light

A key decision point for teams

Decision Cards

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Decisions that teams can make, based on examples from the field

Considerations

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Factors to consider when weighing decisions

Links

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Supporting resources and examples to provide further insight

a school bus

The Roadmap

Digital Promise’s Real World Learning Roadmap provides turn-by-turn guidance to help educators 
and community partners collaborate on Real World Learning experiences for students.

Each of the 14 Real World Learning destinations in the Roadmap includes:

Overview

Tablet with a map marker on it

Step-by-step guidance, checklists, and resources to help educators and partners plan, implement, and reflect upon Real World Learning activities.

Planning Guide

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Activity description, objectives, outcomes, alignment to 21st century learning standards, logistics, and examples.

Examples

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Voices from the field describing successful Real World Learning experiences.

Why It Matters

“Real World Learning provides students opportunities and experiences that open avenues to exploration, curiosity, and collaboration while gaining hands-on skills and problem-solving that they can use for a lifetime.”

Amy Woods, teacher

a moleskine style notebook and a pencil

Real World Learning Resources

Get the supporting resources you need to make Real World Learning happen in your classroom, school, and district.

The resources include:

Voices from the Field

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Case studies of school districts around the country

Examples

binoculars

Lessons, activities, and projects of Real World Learning in action

Glossary

a book with a bookmark

Key terms and definitions to help teams develop a shared vocabulary

Materials

Laptop and books

Classroom-ready materials to implement Real World Learning

Maturity Matrix

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Learn how your program can move from initial to sustainable

Organizations

a rocket

Programs and platforms to help districts implement Real World Learning

Engage students in authentic, relevant experiences and prepare them for a brighter future with Real World Learning.

Get Started

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