In the fall of 2009 Project Tomorrow surveyed almost 400,000 students, parents, teachers and administrators to come up with their vision for learning in the 21st century.
Free Agent Learners
Among their findings was the discovery that for today's students "the schoolhouse, the teacher and the textbook no longer have an exclusive monopoly on knowledge, content or even the education process, and therefore, it should not be surprising that students are leveraging a wide range of learning resources, tools, applications, outside experts and each other to create a personalized learning experience that may or may not include what is happening in the classroom."
Defining Their Own Personalized Learning Program
The survey showed students collaborating via social media sites, taking online assessments to test their knowledge on a particular subject, adapting cell phone apps to increase productivity, and taking online classes for fun.
Students are "taking their educational destiny and future into their own hands by adapting the tools they have become accustomed to in their personal life for learning. Our nation's students are, in fact, through their fearless adoption and clever adaptation of emerging technologies and tools, developing and implementing their own version of a 21st century education vision. They are, in the abscence of a more relevant learning process, creating their own future."