Educational trends go viral in the online teaching community every month, but only a handful are here to stay, having proven to be effective methods of learning. We have picked out the educational trends from the last decade that deserve to follow us into the 2020s and beyond…
The past decade has seen huge developments in technology which have changed the way society operates. In 2010, the first iPad was introduced. In 2016, reality was augmented with Pokemon Go. Since then, we have seen a huge rise of driverless cars, increasing use of social media and a whole range of apps that rely on “gig culture”: Uber, AirBnb and Fiverr to name a few. Now in 2020, as technology firms its grip on every aspect of our lives, many teachers have changed the role technology plays in the classroom as well: what was one a distraction is now a valuable learning tool.
Technology can be used to teach seemingly unrelated subjects through gamification. For example, you could use the popular quiz app, Kahoot! Provided every student has access to a smartphone or laptop, the class can access the quiz live with the game PIN. Used at the end of a lesson, this can be a fun, stimulating way to consolidate the day’s learning. Classcraft is also an incredible tool to gamify students’ behaviour in a more complex, community-focused way than a simple punishment/reward system. Instead, Classcraft allows students to play in teams, gaining or losing points by abiding by or breaking classroom rules, like handing in assignments on time or late. These points allow students to level up, gaining new powers and features in the game.
Computer science and technology are also subjects that are being incorporated into the curriculum in their own right. An increasing number of schools in the UK, US and across the world are incorporating coding lessons from a young age. Students in South Korea are taught how to code from infant/elementary school. South Korea’s commitment to being a world leader in technology is evident in the fact that it has the world’s fastest internet.
Although project-based learning has been utilised in classrooms for decades, it has been increasingly linked to solving pressing social and sustainability issues in the past few years. With the world’s knowledge on every device and the incredible impact of student-led protests, young people are increasingly inspired to pursue their own real-life solutions to current issues. This can be honed through project-based learning, a way to connect real-world situations to classroom learning.
Service and volunteering trips are a great way to incorporate project-based learning into the curriculum. Students could travel to South East Asia or rural China to volunteer with local sustainability organisations and use their experiences as research for environmental projects at home. For example, students who have volunteered with a recycling organisation – like Rehash Trash in Cambodia – could use their service week to inform a project aimed at combating littering in their home town. This is a great way to encourage your students to be forward-thinking, innovative global citizens.
The 2010s saw a trend of educators acting as facilitators rather than teachers. Rather than dictating information to students, this method asks teachers to create an environment where students take control of their own learning. This educational trend encompasses technology, project-based learning and learning outside the classroom, as these are all methods that allow students to dictate their own learning. This control allows for more personalisation – students are free to learn at their own pace and in a way that works best for them. It has become so popular leading up to 2020 due to the increasing role technology plays in education. With “Google” as a verb now in the Oxford English Dictionary, it is clear that we now rely on technology to provide us with information. Instead of competing, teachers act as facilitators in order to allow students to make the most out of the academic potential new technology offers.