In the world of education, trends change quickly. It is hard to keep up with every new strategy as well as decipher what works in the long run. When it comes to current educational trends, there are a few I have found are necessary to know.
The world is rapidly changing. It is important for each and every student to find something they are passionate about and explore it.
This doesn’t mean a teacher has to cater to each and every student when writing problem-solving questions. Instead, encourage students to explore passion areas of their own.
One way to do this is through Genius Hour or Passion Projects. Students are able to choose something they want to learn more about and explore their topic in depth. These projects often end with students presenting their learning in some way to the class or community.
Through passionate learning, students are able to step outside of the traditional classroom model. This allows them to choose topics which interest them directly and learn from one another.
Technology in the classroom is here to stay but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end all and be all of every lesson.
Using technology allows students to experience a world outside of the classroom and what they encounter in daily life. It also provides tools for learners to augment what they are learning and stretch their thinking. Technology does NOT have to replace paper and pencil tasks.
While it can provide a new way of communicating with others or for presenting ideas, it cannot replace the critical thinking students so desperately need. When thinking about whether or not to include technology in a lesson ask yourself whether it is a substitute for paper and pencil or if it enhances the lesson. If it isn’t an enhancement, you may want to think twice.
For a long time, the teacher was viewed as the authority in the classroom, the sage on the stage if you will, but with new developments in research about how we learn this is changing.
Now instead of being the learning leader, teachers are taking on the role of guide. We are still there for students every step of the way, but we are in a supportive rather than star role. Students are encouraged to share their learning with one another and lean on each other for peer coaching.
Project-based learning is real-world learning.
Instead of students completing assignments in isolation, they integrate different subject areas to solve real-life problems in the comfort of the classroom.
These projects allow students to stretch their minds and prepare them for a world which is ever-changing. Through projects such as planning their own field trip or a class party, students are able to apply their learning across multiple subjects without getting bogged down with the standard test.
In the working world rarely do you see one individual working alone. Instead, you see teams of people working together to accomplish a common goal.
In classrooms, we often see the opposite. This system, which is not effective for most learners, leaves many to struggle and does not simulate real-world experiences which value collaboration and teamwork.
By utilizing collaborative or cooperative learning in the classroom, students are not only working on problem-solving, and learning new material, but they are also honing their social skills and learning valuable life lessons.
With technology taking such an important place in our world it is vital our students learn how to be good digital citizens.
The landscape of technology and its uses are ever-changing, and often more rapidly than we know, but as teachers, we must help our students to navigate what it means to be a good digital citizen.
We can model what this looks like, but explicit instruction is also a must. This will include everything from conversations about what information you share with others online, as well as how to present yourself on social media, and how your online presence is like a permanent file which will follow you forever.
Growing up during a time when everything is recorded and posted online for the world to see comes with a new set of challenges that have not been faced before.
The world of education continues to evolve every day. Some trends will take root, gain momentum, and be around for the long haul while others will fade away as soon as they come into popularity.
When you are looking at a new to you education trend remember to always ask yourself if it is what is best for your students. Will it make learning more personal and meaningful? If so, give it a try! If not, don’t be afraid to sit that one out.
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