Exploring the future
of education

Latest from the DEFI blog

Gaming in Education webinar recap

Gaming in Education webinar recap

Exploring "Practical and theoretical insights" with a global audience Our latest DEFI webinar explored The Future of Gaming in Education, with an international panel from Denmark, the US, the UK,...

Researching the future of education

Researching the future of education

Why we need the Digital Education Futures Initiative Some people claim that technology should not drive what we do in education. Technology they say, is just a tool to help us deliver the...

From the DEFI Innovation Lab

The DEFI Future Skills Report

Discover the nine categories of Future Skills that today’s learners need for tomorrow’s workplace. Plus, free access to the journal article in Irish Educational Studies.


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What we do

Collaborative research projects with industry partners is the core business of DEFI.

In addition we already, or intend to:

  • Conduct evidence mapping, horizon scanning and future scoping to analyse emerging trends, anticipate their impact and explore new models of education that may have a ‘real world’ impact.
  • Build and support a global community of stakeholders (including academia, education, policy and industry) to explore and develop new models of education and new research priorities arising due to the growing prevalence of digital technology.
  • Create collaborative research initiatives, for example research with industry partners on ‘Virtual Internships’ as a model linking enterprise and schools, research on just-in-time learning and on online lifelong learning.
  • Work with Cambridge University Press & Assessment and other partners to develop innovative ways of assessing important ‘future skills’ and competences (e.g. teamwork, creativity and collaborative problem-solving)
  • Support a strong PhD programme, for example joint PhDs with companies exploring the educational potential of different technological innovations
  • Offer social enterprise education and support for education initiatives that spin-off from research
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  • Investigate new models of education by design-based research, for example; Cambridge OWL, a global web to support young people learning together as they tackle global challenges; CamTREE, an online-mediated teacher research exchange and VIP, virtual internship scenarios supported by enterprises to give young people the experience of working on real-world challenges.

DEFI works with partners in industry, policy & practice to explore new models of education enabled by digital technology and serves as a catalyst for positive change

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