If you had one hour to teach someone one thing, what would you teach?

Before futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal delivered her “How to Think (and Learn) Like a Futurist” keynote at SXSWedu this morning, she prompted the audience to respond to the following: “If you had one hour to teach someone one thing, what you teach them?”


The responses, shared over Twitter, came flowing into the game. Some people would spend their hour teaching tangible skills: Chinese pinyin, doodling, wrestling, juggling, the ability to fish, play cribbage, plant trees, or grow their own food.

Others focused on the softer skills: empathy, respect and compassion were mentioned numerous times, along with creative problem solving, ableism, and “the importance of making everyone feel valued.”

And others honed in on the skills or practices that may help us build resilience during life’s more challenging moments; these players would teach mindfulness and active listening skills.

Finally, player weisskEDU reminded us not to forget about joy and fun during these teachable moments. As she wrote, “I would teach my daughters how to let go and have a little fun.”

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And player Sab_baou reminded us that a good teacher must first understand what his/her student wants to learn. “I would ask them what they would like to learn and we would go from there …”

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.51.45 AMWhat would you teach? #IWouldTeach Play the game. Imagine the future of learning.


Expanding the scope of what is tracked on the Ledger

In the Learning is Earning video scenario, the Ledger is being used to track Edublocks–things you learn. But players are thinking about ways to track skills and experiences that aren’t normally on a school transcript.

For example, player Emily Schoerning suggests using the Ledger for community activism and organizing.

Investigate card text reads: I think that could be one of the skills tracked by THe Ledger - activism and organizing. How would we know a person was effective at this?

Player PD brings it to a more practical level. What if we could teach and track basic life skills, such as filing taxes, buying a car or a home?

Imagine if schools taught basic life skills, taxes, buying cars, a home, and guidance on how to manage money.

And player YG invites us to think about putting skills to use outside of work in the traditional employer/employee relationship. Imagine: what if the Ledger could track the skills and experiences of individuals in a community so that a group can understand what resources are collectively available? Then they can use that knowledge and data and to coordinate a project that could benefit a neighborhood, a soccer league, or a PTA group?

Card text reads: Honestly seems like it could be fun. It wouldn't all have to be employer/employee relationships. Maybe coops could form as well.

What do you think would emerge in a future in which what you study is tracked , but so are all of the projects, jobs, gigs, and challenges you’ve used what you’ve learned to complete?  Come imagine the future with us at Learning is Earning 2026!

35 hours remain for all of us to imagine a future in which learning is earning in 2026!

Thirty-five hours remain for all of us to imagine a future in which Learning is Earning in 2026! In the first hour, players imagined 199 futures, many of which prompted others to react and respond.  These interactions have uncovered new insights and new implications for the future of learning.

Image of cards that have other cards built on top of them. Graphic visualization of a set of conversations.

Reacting to the scenario, many players, such as Deborah Chad, saw a future in which learners could tailor and curate what they study.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 9.48.45 AMOther players imagined that the learning is earning future would motivate people to take small actions today, rather than, as PopMythology.com explains, “fantasizing of sweeping changes.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 9.41.10 AMAnd a number of players reacted to the future scenario with concern.  What if you are unable or do not want to be tracked?  What about the soft skills that emerge for being physically together in a classroom?  What if, as Cindy Baskin, provokes, young people begin to define success by monetary achievement only?

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Join us at Learning is Earning 2026 as we imagine the future of learning!