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10 Best Education Documentaries On The Future of Learning

I believe we are at the dawn of a new era of massively amplified learning, creativity and inventiveness. We now have the technology to make education accessible to everyone in the world and the adaptable digital learning tools to personalize the way everyone learns and works.

But this new era requires a new emphasis on lifelong learning and creativity. Today’s students must become self-directed lifelong learners because in the fast-paced digital economy, it is a necessity to be constantly adapting by learning new knowledge and skills.

Each of these education documentaries provide a glimpse into the future of learning in the 21st century.

1. Networked Society: The Future of Learning

Technology enables us to interact, innovate and share in amazing new ways. The result is a dynamic shift in mindset that is creating profound change throughout our society.

The Future of Learning explores how we can be part of this transformation. We need to personalize the process of how we learn, focus less on rote memorization and more on holistic approaches to learning and creativity.


2. Collaboration: On the Edge of a New Paradigm

This excellent documentary grew out of an experiment in collaboration undertaken by Danish student Alfred Birkegaard for his PhD in Philosophy. He traveled to the heart of Silicon Valley to interview the pioneers who are engineering the future of digital communication and collaboration.

Collaboration: On The Edge of a New Paradigm is the story of how the Internet is pushing the boundaries of research, collaboration and knowledge creation. The result is a revolutionary paradigm shift where learning and working is becoming a more collaborative process.


3. PressPausePlay

The digital revolution has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, creating nearly unlimited opportunities for those who can master the digital media arts and convince others of the value of their talents.

PressPausePlay looks at his new democratized culture of creativity and how it is reshaping the arts and culture. The film features interviews with some of the most influential creators of the digital age.


4. Us Now: Social Media and Mass Collaboration

New social technologies such as crowdsourcing and open source collaboration are giving us the power to take a bigger part in the decision-making processes of governments. This will radically change the shape of our governments and our societies.

Us Now is about the power of mass collaboration, the government and the Internet. It’s a fascinating look at how corrupt and inefficient bureaucracies will be dramatically downsized and their power will return to the people.


5. On The Brink Of A Networked Society

The Internet of Things and the way we communicate through Internet-based networks is transforming our society. Attempting to understand how these changes are shaping business, education and a new social order will give you a glimpse into the future.

On The Brink of a Network Society is the first part of a 4-part series on the future of our networked society. The documentary series features interviews with creative thought leaders who discuss concepts like borderless opportunities, developing creativity and new open business models.


6. Future Learning: What’s Wrong With School?

Our school system perfectly prepares students for the 20th century industrial economy. However, times have changed and today it failure to prepare us with the necessary confidence in our innate curiosity and creative skills. This is what we will need to transform the world and thrive in the 21st century economy.

Future Learning is a series of thought-provoking interviews with education innovators about how to better engage and empower self-directed learners so they can unlock the new possibilities created by technological innovation.


7.  Humans Need Not Apply

The most challenging economic trend of our time is the replacement of routine work with robots and software. The reality is that technological progress is now replacing more jobs than it creates. This means we will need a social and political revolution or be faced with mass unemployment and societal breakdown.

Human Need Not Apply explores how machines are replacing humans right now and why the skills that machines can’t replicate such as human connection, creativity and social intelligence are more important than ever.


8. IBM’s Watson: Smartest Machine on Earth

IBM’s revolutionary artificial intelligence system Watson entered the limelight in 2011 when it went up against the world’s best human contestants at Jeopardy. With a brain the size of 2,400 home computers and a database of about 10 million documents, can Watson compute its way to victory?

The Smartest Machine on Earth tells the story of the creation of Watson, and how artificial intelligence and machine learning will transform all kinds of industries and occupations.


9. Everything Is A Remix

The Internet and information technology has been an incredible catalyst for human creativity. Today, nearly anyone in a developed country can own their means of creative production and use inexpensive digital tools to become an active creator of art, music and culture.

Everything Is A Remix examines how the process of creativity, learning and innovation is similar to the way we remix music and art by copying, transforming and combining old ideas to form new ones.


 10. Education For A Sustainable Future

The values that underlie our current education system have gotten us into this mess of crushing debt, ecological collapse and failing political institutions. We need a new system that focuses less on competition and theory divorced from reality, and more on developing student’s individual creative talents so they can collaborate together and solve the massive challenges of the 21st century.

Education for a Sustainable Future examines the outline of a new 21st century education system and how we can train people to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing world.


If you watch these documentary films on learning and creativity then you’ll have a good idea of what the future hopefully holds for the democratization of education.

Which one is your favourite documentary film? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Thanks for putting together this enlightening and excellent collection – wonderful to be able to watch them all in one place.

  2. FYI, for anyone interested in brain-based education, there’s a documentary that covers this topic quite well. While it’s told more from the human experience standpoint, it also covers most of the practical aspects of using brain-based teaching..

    1. It looks good but I don’t see any option for people to rent or stream it online?

  3. Great stuff. The term “self directed learning” is really interesting to ponder about. Since I stumbled in this site I am provoked to examine my approach of learning new things. True learning is no longer the old approach where you have to appear in front of your teacher so your attendance will be counted. It should be the internal desire of the learner to search and satisfy the quest for knowledge and gain creative thinking.

  4. I’m a teacher. I am learning about how to teach student in new way. The technology is a best choice to choose. but my problem no have resources, That is a one issue. And the another is on the student. The teacher must involve student make they want to study.
    Hope in the future if we have resources and interesting technology to lure student learn. That may bring educate to be great.

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