Education in 2012: The Three Trends

Educators, parents, and the business world have watched as technology, the economy, and new policies change how, where, and what students learn. Even in the last year, we’ve seen many changes to the evolving classroom. Education Week recently looked back over the last year and compiled The 10 Most Memorable Stories of 2011: Ed Tech, which included stories on cyberbullying, flip model classes, and the use of e-readers in classrooms and home.

What have the changes we’ve seen in 2011 mean for 2012? Mind/Shift recently assessed the last year and came up with three trends in teaching and learning that will impact changes in the new year, in the article “Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning.”

1. Collaborative: Whether it’s between students in the same classroom or students brought together through social media from home, across the nation, or around the world, students sharing and connecting has proven to be a powerful tool. Educators are also collaborating by using social media to connect with other educators and using curriculum from open-source sites.

2. Tech-Powered: Many schools are embracing technology to enhance the classroom and keep students’ attention in a digital world. Some schools are deeply integrating technology in their curriculums to teach students basic computer programming and design skills to build websites and video games. Other schools are using technology to record podcasts, videos, and music, Skype to connect with other classrooms, and older students are building digital portfolios for college.

3. Blended: Blended learning is the practice of combining computers with traditional learning. This model allows for students to conduct research, watch videos, participate in collaborative online discussions both at home and at school. This article says the best examples of online learning are when educators have students engage in online discussions and collaborative projects at home and continue the conversation in the classroom.

I would add a final thought to this list: active. Students who succeed in the future need to be the aggregators and the originators of their own content in a world flooded with information.   The ways in which students pursue their own interests and connect in meaningful ways will likely govern what they learn, what they contribute in the world of work and what they can offer to improve society and the world.  How can teachers, parents and those of us who work with students promote active citizens who care about and respect themselves, others and the causes outside of their own immediate interests?



“Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning,” by Tina Barseghian. 28 December 2011. Mind/Shift. Accessed on 29 December 2011.

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