The next-generation educational software must i) be modular and interoperable to satisfy just-in-time demands, ii) have multiple levels of detail, iii) be usable in both synchronous and asynchronous learning modes, and iv) foster interactive involvement of the learner and her community. In addition, this software must address audiences of different ages, goals, and learning styles, in contexts that range from classroom to problem-solving, team-structured labs to Web-based individual study to as yet unknown modes. Clearly, learning environments are not restricted to static rooms with desktop terminals but evolve into both formal and informal learning communities. We need integrated organizational approaches to the research necessary to create such next-generation challenges. The Learning Federation explores issues in creating next-generation educational software and directs a focused, sustained research investment effort to create such software. Its purpose is to provide a critical mass of funding for long-term basic and applied precompetitive research in learning science and technology, this research, which interdisciplinary teams conduct, is meant to lead the development of next-generation authoring tools and sample curricula for both synchronous and asynchronous learning.