Trends in learning have changed and progressed throughout the years, but with the onset of technology in education, there is now a trend that’s here to stay. Schools everywhere are integrating technology into their curriculum because the results are undeniably positive.
Students are honing the skills necessary to succeed in the tech world we live in simply by incorporating technology into their everyday lives. As the education system continues to change, we want to acknowledge and ponder some of the trends that are propelling k-12 education to the next level.
1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). As technology continues to become more readily available, many students have their own mobile devices for personal use. BYOD is a great way for a district to embrace technology meanwhile save money on the provision of devices. The positives for this trends are that students already know how to use their devices, so there is less lag time to getting started. Mobile capability is an additional benefit because students can access their course materials and notes whenever and wherever they want to. The problems that exist here are currently being tested in schools, the biggest being students who don’t have the access or financial ability to bring their own devices. In this case, schools can develop financial assistance programs for technology. Instead of providing duplicate technology to students who already have it, we can employ BYOD and then assist students without technology, on an individual basis.
2. Personalized Learning. The shift to more personalized learning is happening as teachers discover that individualized help is more effective than a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Students are achieving their academic goals based on their teacher’s willingness to learn their strengths and weaknesses, and develop curriculum based on them. Rather than creating a lesson plan suited to “all” students, faculty can embrace the unique learning styles of each student and make the messages resonate better all around. Faculty are finding more ways to publish their works in which they can compile the most relevant resources for their students’ materials, rather than relying solely on a “course-in-a-box” textbook. Personalized learning is changing the way students interact with their teachers, and holistically improving their success.
3. Online/Blended Learning. It’s no secret that eLearning has taken the education system by storm. The accessibility that online learning has generated for K-12 students is immense. Virtual academies, where the courses are entirely conducted virtually, are increasing in amount and strength. The use of blended learning has also been steadily increasing in the education system because technology is enabling our students to learn at their own pace and, therefore, reach better outcomes. Personalized learning paired with technology is proving a successful way to engage students that previously were unreachable.
4. Hands-On Environmental Learning. More schools and faculty are making an effort to conduct classes in hands-on environments ton develop first-hand experiences. Classes are venturing into the outdoors, making the most of the learning capabilities there are beyond a textbook. Hands-on learning is a complement to online learning because it allows students to apply what they’ve learning from real experiences to their studies- from wherever they are. Teachers can focus more on engaging students and create an enjoyable lesson during the in-person time, and then use online learning to assess and expand learnings beyond the classroom.
5. Early Education focus. Upon discovering that children who complete more than one year of early education before kindergarten tend to do better in the long run, there has been a trending focus on early education. The education system as a whole is devoting more time, energy, and resources to the promotion of early education, and to the system itself. Many states now have county programs for those needing financial assistance that allow students to attend preschool for little or free. This shift is hopefully going to trend to more successful outcomes for all students.
As trends continue to evolve we know one thing is for sure: technology isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay, and the K-12 schools making the moves for a more personal and technological education strategy are improving their students’ success rates and outcomes.
Source: “5 K12 Trends to Watch in 2016” by Erin McIntyre, Education Dive, educationdive.com.