With much of the newer generation becoming more and more tech-savvy, it can become harder to connect with them on the levels necessary to encourage learning. It is difficult for many educators to keep up with the ever-changing trends, but there are ways to make it easier for teachers and students to meet in the middle. The future relies on our children, so the way they learn should adapt to that future.
1. Digital literacy
The integration of digital literacy always allows students to have their curriculum with them, without the added weight of physical books. Required reading will always be a valuable part of education, but many students have issues with keeping the books on hand. This can make it difficult for them to keep up with their assignments.
Physical copies of books can also be torn, damaged, or lost, which can put a financial strain on the school or family of the child. Being able to access the required content on phones and computers can help students keep track of their work, and digital files are nearly impervious to damage.
2. Educational games
Using games to teach skills is not a new concept. From kindergarten rhymes to educational board games, we’ve always used games to get kids engaged and interested in their lessons.
The internet has shaped how the young generation learns, communicates, and plays games, so adapting lesson plans to these concepts is a surefire way to connect with them. Many schools are already utilizing online games like Kahoot to teach lessons and quiz their students.
3. Online courses
Online courses are already a huge trend in the education field. Being able to learn at home on their laptops or cellphones is an alluring idea, and it has its benefits. Online classes can go at the speed of the student, giving them ample time to absorb and understand the knowledge they’re given. They can take quizzes, view diagrams, and watch guided videos all within one online course.
Digital course content can also be updated at any time, which ensures that children are always learning the newest, most accurate information. Where textbooks cost hundreds of dollars to update and re-publish every time an edit is made, online courses can be seamlessly polished and perfected without damaging their integrity.
4. Self-directed development
Online courses don’t just benefit the students. More and more states are encouraging their teachers to update their education and keep their knowledge fresh. Many teachers are turning to online courses and web seminars to learn new teaching methods and field-specific information. Online courses are flexible and can be accessed anytime and anywhere, making it easy for teachers to find the time.
5. Library media specialists
As we enter a new age of technology, it’s become necessary to have tech specialists around. While they don’t have to hack mainframes or build computers from scratch, people who know how to navigate online databases and teach tech skills are important.
Librarians and computer skills teachers can be the most important source of that information, especially for students. They should be trained to search keywords, work computers, and help children access the information they need.
6. Collaborative learning
Not every student can walk to a classmate’s house or catch a ride to the library. With today’s technology, they likely won’t have to.
Online collaboration has never been easier, and with instant messaging, video calling, and programs like Google Docs, kids can connect and communicate no matter where they are. This allows for seamless collaboration almost anywhere, and it can reduce anxiety for many students with complicated schedules or social nervousness.
7. Flipped classrooms
Flipped classrooms are certainly a new concept for many teachers, but they’re something to think about. A ‘flipped classroom’ refers to classes where the students learn the curriculum at home, and then come to class to practice it with classmates and teachers. This allows for more independent, self-paced learning, and it saves time in the classroom. If students need help understanding a concept, there’s more time for the teacher to explain and go over the materials.
8. Flexible assignments
With editing programs like PowerPoint, Photoshop, and video makers, it’s a new age for presentations. Flexible assignments allow students to direct their own projects and come up with a creative concept to present their results. They can work together, in pairs, or even complete objectives by themselves.
9. Project-based learning
For many professional careers, their work is done in projects. Project-based learning adapts to that concept by teaching students the necessary skills to complete projects thoroughly and on-time. While it requires a bit more responsibility on their part, it gives them a chance to shine and use a number of skills they wouldn’t otherwise use. The independence, scheduling, and concept are closer to that of a real-life job, which allows them to adapt and learn in a way that will benefit their futures.
Personalized learning is a huge trend, and for good reason. With personalized learning, each student can focus on themselves and how they learn best. This can make it easier for students to find the help they need, and they can learn the curriculum in a way that benefits them.
Adrian Rubin has tasked himself with encouraging learning in children of all ages and backgrounds. He has set out to build teaching methods and environments that benefit every child. His individualistic, tailored approach is popular among educators and students alike.
These trends are just a drop in the bucket, especially when you consider the vast potential. Our world is changing, and these changes only open new avenues for education. Whether you are a superintendent, principal, or educator, bring up these new ideas and set out to make a change. You might be reaching more people than you think.