About LERN Forecasts

Learning, teaching and education institutions- - including yours- - are going through an entire transformation between now and 2030.  Just like we did 100 years ago. 9shiftCropped (2)

LERN Futurists Julie Coates and William A. Draves accurately predicted the major shifts in society between 2000 and 2020 century in their classic book, Nine Shift. Now they forecast the transformation of learning, teaching and your institution from the factory model to the new model of learning, teaching and delivery of this century.

By popular demand from LERN members.
New topics, issues and discussion every month.

Are You Spending Enough on Marketing?

LERN is investigating. ANNOUNCING 2

There's reason to believe registrations for lifelong learning programs and continuing education have grown significantly in 30 years, maybe even zero growth or declines.

With marketing budgets now half of what they were, according to a new fall 2022 survey by LERN, are you reaching as many people as you could?

While the 'traditional' audiences are being served, many people are being left out.  That has consequences for economic prosperity and quality of life in this century, the Knowledge Society age.

The Pedagogy of Trains

Time for nonprofit organizations - - recreation departments, community ed in schools, community colleges and universities - - to start thinking and planning for how to respond to the growth in trains, train routes, train stations and light rail stations. Train_cover72

Trains and light rail offer a new opportunity for expanding offerings, partnerships among similar non-competing organizations, and serving more people.

Threat.  If you are not located within walking distance of a train station or light rail stop, you may be left out without renting at least a classroom near the stop.  

Nannie Helen Burroughs and Our Mission Today

We are grateful to Dr. Opal Easter, who wrote the first biography of the great Black adult educator Nannie Helen Burroughs.

And for Dr. Easter's acknowledgments,  which inspired us by Opal thanking Burroughs for "reminding all of us of our responsibility to serve others."    Our mission in lifelong learning and continuing education. Nannie Helen Burroughs

Opal was on the LERN Board of Directors in the 1990s, the time when she published her work.  She notes that black people of all ages and situations so desired to learn how to read that they often lined up and filled the churches for literacy lessons, starting well before the civil war.   In these tough times, if people could do that back then, we too can be inspired to keep up our spirits and work on behalf of people and our society.  

When Helen M. Todd Changed Education History

Helen M. Todd made national news between 1910 and 1920, first advocating for the Vote for women. And then for changing how we treated children, mainly boys, working in factories at the time. Helen M. Todd 2

Her greatest achievement was arguably appearing before a Congressional Committee Hearing in early 1924, and reporting how the boys were hit in school, which is why they preferred the factory to school.  In just a few months, Congress passed new laws. And then states started passing laws outlawing the beating of boys in school. 

Boys are still beaten, legally, in school in 15 states.  Some 75% of children beaten are boys; and of course a far greater share are black boys.  And the "get tough" approach?  Yeah, it damages children psychologically, hurts their learning.  Just like today's punishment of boys in school for late work, fidgeting and other male behavior irrelevant to learning. 
LERN's Julie Coates spent a whole day researching Helen M. Todd in the Chicago Public Library archives, finding this newspaper photo of Ms. Todd.


Mother Jones Led the Boys March to Roosevelt

Suffragettes, the First Wave Feminists, led the effort to protect and support our boys 100 years ago.
Mother Jones, for example, led a march of boys to the summer home of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt. Mother Jones march two

Mother Jones and the boys asked the President to allow boys to go to school.  The boys were working more than 50 hours a week in factories.  They wanted to spend some of the time over 40 hours going to school. 

Being a highly enlightened President, Roosevelt of course denied the request.  It took another 20 years, and another great suffragette, Helen M. Todd, to get boys back in school. 

Betty Friedan & N.O.W.- - When Boys Were Not the Enemy

As we celebrate Women's History Month, LERN Forecasts also points out where the Third Wave feminists made a wrong turn. And created deadly devastating consequences that have torn apart our society and economy. NationalOrganizationOfWomen

The founding statement of the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.)  called for a "partnership of the sexes" and working together with men for gender equality for women, and the resulting benefits for men.

Betty Friedan, the First President of N.O.W. and great Second Wave feminist leader, repeatedly talked about working with men and in-effect warned about the great social and economic costs American society now experiences without partnering with men and supporting boys.  Photo: from N.O.W. 

The Boys Initiative, headed by Dr. Vermelle Greene, is a national organization and effort to restore gender equity in our schools.  LERN leaders including Dr. Dionne Felix, Joe Miera, Perry Harker and Julie Coates are on the advisory board.  



Are You Spending Enough on Marketing?

New LERN surveys are indicating that Direct Costs for Marketing and promotion have fallen.

One big reason is that you are devoting more staff time - - and time is money - - to digital marketing, segmentation and data analysis. 

But my question: is there a much larger market and audience out there for lifelong learning and continuing education classes that you- - that we as a field - - are simply not reaching? Ballsinair

The U.S. federal government, and I'm guessing the Canadian government as well, has not for over 20 years kept good or even approximate statistics on the numbers and percentage of people taking lifelong learning classes.

Memory is that we used to have a much larger share of the public engaged in lifelong learning. And it's not hard to pinpoint some of the harmful effects today that have come from not engaging people in lifelong learning. 


New from LERN in 2022: Part III

  You asked for our third new research project. It came from your questions and comments in our hugely successful webinar on Good Home Page Design for lifelong learning and continuing education programs last week.

  We will initiate a research project on the most important metrics for your program to look at in terms of visits to your program's own landing or home page. 

  There's lots of metrics available. And there's metrics for other industries, but not for our field. 
And the top experts in analytics say that there's no one common set of metrics to analyze across industries. You need to find out what is most important for your own organization.

  Enter LERN.  We will find out the most important metrics.  And then we will find out what the most successful program's metrics are. And then we will tell you.  Thanks to Brenda Mellon of Cumberland College up in Melfort, SK, Canada for telling me that winter skies up north are so beautiful - - they are. 

Sunset Feb 8
Another colorful February 2022 winter sunset on the lake.  LERN staff photo.


New from LERN in 2022: Part II

"Marketing is shifting," reports LERN Vice President Travette Webster.  She points to the enormous interest and response to our initial survey of LERN leaders as to the percentage of income you are now spending on marketing and promotion. 

Coming up:
-New survey results on marketing and promotion budgets for lifelong learning and continuing education programs.
-New research on how marketing is shifting, new trends, new success; and of course what's still working.

After the snow  sun2

A sunny day in the woods up north. LERN staff photo.