About Modern Learners Community

Modern Learners Community helps school leaders change the experience of school for children around the world by keeping a focus back on learning.

We are driven by the belief that the focus of our work in schools today should be on developing children as learners, and that creating experiences and environments that lead to powerful learning stem more from our understanding of learning.

Our work is most deeply influenced by the likes of John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Loris Malaguzzi, Seymour Sarason, Seymour Papert, Frank Smith, Alfie Kohn, Deborah Meier, bell hooks, Gary Stager, and a host of other educators old and new who put the conversation about learning well ahead of the one about schooling.

The Modern Learners Lens

We don’t chase fads, buzzwords or buzzphrases, and we raise an eyebrow at cutting edge.

We situate our work in what we call our Modern Learners’ Lens.

Everything we do in MLC is guided by our beliefs about learning. We believe that learning is defined by wanting to learn ore.

In MLC, we pay attention to the modern contexts. We pay attention to what is happening around the world and the impact that will have on learning experiences.

Finally, we strive to align our practices with our beliefs about learning and the modern contexts shaping our lived experiences.

Our beliefs, contexts, and practices help us find the clarity we need to keep the focus on learning.

Modern Learners Lens that contains beliefs, contexts, and practices in a venn diagram.

Our Story

The Community started with Will and Bruce…

Modern Learners was founded by Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon (who have since been promoted to advisors and support the communit). Bruce’s experience with the 1:1 computing movement, and Will’s constant provocation set the community up to learn. They are prolific readers and writers about learning in the modern world.

then came Missy…

After following Will’s and Bruce’s work for years, Missy Emler reached out to Will in 2016. There was no shortage of ideas ideas on how to grow the Modern Learners community into an even more vibrant space for conversations about modern learning. Her energy has inspired school leaders to build their capacity to lead change in their schools and communities.

And then Lyn joined the team

Lyn Hilt was a natural fit with her background as a elementary school principal, her experience as a technology consultant, and her edgy sense of humor. Her timing was right, too. Modern Learners needed someone to facilitate the content and conversations in the Modern Learners Community. Lyn also took on the role of writing and managing the development of our online courses. 

Finally, The Community needed Hazel…

Hazel Mason started out as an amazing community member. She naturally graduated into the role of community manager. Her willingness to share her experiences and guide others to solutions is just what the community needed. So…she stepped up and continues to push all of us to do more and be more!

And now, we have a whole community in sharing in the work.

Meet the Behind-the-Scenes Team

Missy Emler

Chief Learning Officer

Missy has served in a variety of roles throughout her career in education:  special education teacher, principal, Statewide Systems Coach for Universal Design for Learning. As the owner of the Modern Learners Community, Missy has found great joy in coaching school leaders along their journey to create a strong culture of learning in their local communities.

Modern Learners Community manager Lyn Hilt

Lyn Hilt

Community Manager

Lynn has 20 years of experience as an educational leader, having served as an elementary school principal, an instructional technology coach, and as a teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels. As community manager, she works hard to share relevant and inspiring content with you and to ensure that MLC is a place you consider your learning home. 

Hazel Mason

Hazel Mason

Community Manager

Hazel has been a superintendent of education, a principal in four schools, and a guidance counselor. She is passionate about modern learning and hopes for a brave new education world. Hazel’s career in education has provided her with many experiences to share. She coaches through an inquiry model, and she’s ready to support school leaders on their learning journey.

It’s a movement, not a moment

Modern Learners Community is a diverse, global group of over 1000 teachers, principals, and educational leaders who want to commit to grow courageously as agents of change.