C106 | Meet the Free Agent Learners: Changing School from the Outside

  • Room: 215-216
  • Session Number: C106
Wednesday, January 25, 2023: 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM


Lead Presenter
Julie Evans
Project Tomorrow


With a universe of online content available to them in their hand, today’s students are increasingly engaging in purposeful, self-directed, interest-driven learning outside of school. As “Free Agent Learners” un-tethered to traditional education settings, these students are using a digital tools and resources to address academic curiosities, develop new skills and prepare themselves for future success. This real-world embodiment of anytime, anywhere learning is the focus of my new book, Free Agent Learning: Leveraging Students’ Self-Directed Learning to Transform K-12 Education based upon the views and activities of 2.5+ million K-12 students collected through the Speak Up Research Project. A key finding is that Free Agent Learners have very different expectations for what learning should look like in school based upon their out-of-school learning experiences. This eye-opening session will provide an insider view on the activities and motivations of Free Agent Learners and unpack implications for the future of education.


  • Concurrent Session (45 minutes)
  • PK-12
  • Leadership