The worldwide pandemic spurred a significant shift in the current trends in education. One of these new trends in education is the switch to online learning and blended learning with the use of digital apps. The digital trend in education will likely remain for years as the pandemic remains unpredictable.
The use of digital technology in education forces traditional professional educators and students to embrace the digital world. This reality actually creates many more major trends in education. In this article, we discuss the new trends in education and what some future trends in education may be. Continue reading to learn more about the future of education and trends in teaching.
What Is Education?
Education is a system of acquiring or providing organized learning, especially at a school or university. It involves gaining knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. It can be done through teaching, training, storytelling, discussion, and directed research, and is usually facilitated through the guidance of educators.
Through education, an individual’s character and behavior are shaped and molded with the knowledge they acquire. Getting an education helps an individual elevate themselves, become an asset to society, and be more competent in life.
What Is the Current State of Education?
Different educational policies and standards have been drastically changing due to the worldwide pandemic. Schools have been challenged with sudden big changes while still working to improve the learning outcomes for students. With that, new technology is changing how teachers teach and how students learn.
Our current society is technology-oriented, and this is also true in the education sector. Many students now prefer to study online rather than sit in a classroom because it offers greater flexibility. However, the use of digital technology is changing how students and teachers interact with each other, how lessons are taught, and what kind of content is evaluated.
Impact of Remote Education
The effect of online learning varies among different groups. Students with enough access to the necessary tools, such as Internet connectivity, are doing fairly well. However, disadvantaged students are often performing poorly. Both teachers and students have to work harder to make remote learning a success.
The various situations at home and different online learning approaches are factors to consider when determining the effectiveness of online learning. The environment at home, such as family support and other resources, differentiates students’ success in an online learning setup. It also presents challenges for teachers, who have had to drastically alter their teaching strategies.
Conversely, when higher education is offered online, it can actually make courses more accessible for underrepresented students such as single parents and those from rural areas. Online education can be beneficial in its flexibility, but it also reduces social connections for many students and educators.
Top Challenges in Education
There are some challenges that the current trends in the education industry are facing nowadays. Teachers and students everywhere have been forced to adapt to new ways of connecting with each other. We listed a few of these challenges below.
- Technology: Students are coping fast with technology, and teachers are often left behind. Additionally, students’ access to technology can distract them from their studies as they gravitate towards non-learning activities. Technology also brings financial challenges, too, as the schools need to spend more to equip every student with the proper tech devices.
- Poverty: Dropout rates are high due to poverty. Students who fall below the poverty line have difficulty studying, often due to poor diet and lack of sleep. Despite efforts to help these students, the solutions never seem to create an equal playing field.
- Teacher salaries: Generally, teacher salaries have been steadily diminishing. Although teachers’ benefits grow, it doesn’t compensate for their low wages. In fact, the lowest 10 percent of high school teachers make just $41,330, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Family factors: A student’s home environment has a significant impact on their learning. Issues at home tend to affect the student emotionally and psychologically and are detrimental to their learning ability.
- Classroom size: A major challenge in education comes from budget constraints creating larger classroom sizes. In some states, the average classroom size is 24 students and just one teacher in a classroom, which does not create an environment that is conducive to learning.
What Are Some Future Trends in Education?
Undoubtedly, the future trends in education will be technology-driven. Teachers and students who are separated geographically can connect with technology. The new generation of learners and educators have already come to appreciate modern educational settings. Discover more of the trends that are changing the learning process of students as well as the way teachers give lessons.
Personalized learning is a learning approach designed according to the learner’s learning capability, and it is highly individualized. In this approach, the curriculum will be adjusted depending on the learner’s current capacity. The curriculum is also designed to the student’s interests, educational requirements, and learning style.
Why Is This Trend Important?
With this learning approach, the learner gains confidence while improving their skills and academic capabilities. The teacher and the student both benefit from this type of learning. Teachers benefit from the support and feedback that comes from personalized instruction and students receive course material that is directly relevant to them.
Project-based learning helps students learn through real-life projects. It is a method of teaching in which students learn by doing. The teacher, in this case, acts as a hands-on facilitator. This method of teaching is a great opportunity for students to gain real experience while also learning course material.
Why Is This Trend Important?
With this type of learning, students develop their critical thinking ability as well as their communication skills and creativity. These skills are essential and valued by employers. In addition, the ability to work through problems in real-time provides a benefit for students.
STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. This learning approach provides a hands-on learning experience in the specified fields. The learning approach is diverse and provides students with many different perspectives to tackle problems. For example, one principle of STEAM is to give students options rather than specific outcomes.
Why Is This Trend Important?
STEAM learning is similar to STEM learning in that it enhances the learners’ critical thinking skills and helps them develop problem-solving skills. The STEAM approach helps prepare students for life, and not just a specific job or position.
Artificial Intelligence helps personalize learning when students use technological devices and other digital tools, as the process gathers data on each individual. The collected data is then analyzed and information is extracted by companies like Kidaptive to come up with customized learning tools and learning opportunities for each student.
Why Is This Trend Important?
Artificial intelligence is one of the technological trends in US education that is growing. This technology streamlines admin tasks, allowing teachers to provide adapted coursework for each student. It also helps educators create better learning opportunities for students, as they can track what works and what doesn’t more precisely.
Online classrooms are virtual classrooms made possible by the Internet and various online apps. They quickly became a worldwide reality with the swift onset of the pandemic. These virtual spaces act as a normal classroom with online lectures, student participation via video calling, and discussions through chat services.
Why Is This Trend Important?
The online classroom trend in education will likely stay and grow in the future. It will evolve as new learning processes make the education industry more tech-savvy. They are also a tool to remove barriers in education for those who require flexible schedules or are not able to attend in-person classes.
Essential Education Skills for Today’s Professionals
For educators to thrive in the current trends in education, some desirable skills are a must-have. We have listed a few of these essential skills below. Especially during the pandemic, teachers have had to be flexible and patient as students adapt to new ways of learning.
- Strategic thinking skills: As a professional in education, you should be capable of strategic planning for an end goal. Being a strategical thinker enables you to solve complex problems that you may encounter and adapt to different learning needs accordingly.
- Academic expertise: As a professional in the education field, you should thoroughly understand what you are teaching. It is also important to be able to model academic skills including research skills, report writing, and presentations.
- Basic computer skills: As an education professional, most of what you do involves computer work. Hence, you must take the time to learn basic computer skills. This is especially necessary for distance learning.
- Independent thinking skills: Having this skill means you can evaluate things critically, which is an essential asset of an educator. You do not just act on or decide something based on blind trust. You make decisions based on facts, not on anybody’s idea or opinion.
- 21st-century skills: 21st-century skills are a broad set of knowledge, work habits, and character traits. Educators believed this skillset is critically important to succeed in today’s world, particularly in collegiate programs. These skills can be useful in all academic subject areas and educational settings.
Current Trends in Education: Take the Next Step in Your Career
The current and future trends in education will pose many challenges, but you can do something to surpass these challenges. In the field of education, passion is always helpful. With a strong commitment to mold future generations, you can succeed. The first thing you need to do, however, is decide which level of education you want to instruct.
Whether you want to become a high school teacher, elementary teacher, or a college professor, will determine what credentials you will need to get a position. Level up your career and prepare for the new trends in education by equipping yourself with all the skills you need. If you have to polish your computer skills, then do so.
Trends in Education FAQ
It is not always possible to keep up with every trend, but it is important to try. Staying current on education trends will help you provide the best, most relevant education to your students.
To keep yourself updated with education trends, you should explore various resources such as joining forums and collaborating with other institutions outside of your own. You can also seek professional development, take a college class, or host a student-teacher forum in the classroom.
Although teachers must stay current on their knowledge of a subject, you can decide which research trend you want to follow in your classroom. It should fit your teaching style and your students’ needs.
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It is vital to keep up with current trends in education because they are often the best way to teach students. Oftentimes, new trends are solving a problem or providing a better learning experience for students. After all, they are trends for a reason.
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