Five education trends for the new school year


education-trendsTrends in education are always appearing, such as iPads and online testing (and remember virtual reality classrooms?), but with recent developments in national standards and a new federal emphasis on equity, the 2013-14 school year will have a set of trends all its own.

From issues surrounding Common Core State Standards implementation to the number of tools available to create customized, affordable ebooks, educators and administrators this year will certainly have their hands full with adapting to these national education trends.

What trends have you noticed for the new school year? How is your school or district adapting to some of the five trends listed below? Leave your insights in the comment section below—we’d love to hear from you!

(Vote for your favorite trend for the new school year on page 3. Next page: Trends in standards, eTextbooks, and flipped learning)

[In no particular order]

1. Funding for Common Core

Last year, the decision whether or not to adopt the Common Core State Standards was a sweeping national trend. This year, states are starting to get cold feet on the actual implementation of these standards, due mainly to one reason—funding (or lack of it). Already, multiple states have either paused on their implementation strategies or are now reversing their decision to adopt. For more information on this trend, read:

4 reasons why the Common Core Standards are losing popularity

Just how effective are the Common Core State Standards?

Admins predict changes in rigor, instruction under Common Core

2. Creating your own eBooks

For years schools have started to question the incredible amount of money spent on often outdated and non-interactive textbooks. Last year’s trend centered on purchasing digital textbooks, often from big-name publishers. However, thanks to new, low-cost digital publishing tools, many schools are now considering creating their own eBooks, which can be customized to align to the Common Core, and can include flipped learning methodology through the inclusion of interactive videos from sources such as the Khan Academy. For more information on this trend, read:

Creating your own eTextbooks for Common Core

Build your own digital textbooks

How to grow a textbook

How to create your own textbook—with or without Apple

3. Assessments for flipped learning

Though the flipped learning trend might have received the most attention during 2012-13, this year the creators of the flipped learning movement, Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, are supposedly creating assessments for educators interested in implementing this method of teaching. The assessments are rumored to be ready sometime in the fall of 2013. Sams and Bergmann hope to help educators track and assess student achievement through flipped learning, turning what might have become a simple fad into a lasting teaching method. For more information on this trend, check out:

Does research support Flipped Learning?

This online seminar discusses assessments for Flipped Learning

Flip the classroom-every teacher should do this

(Next page: Trends in broadband and coding)

4. e-Rate changes and broadband funding

Nothing signals change like a boost in federal funding, and that’s exactly what’s happening with the e-Rate. After years of schools crying out for a raise in the e-Rate’s annual cap—thanks in part to the boom in Bring Your Own Device initiatives—both President Obama and the Federal Communications Commission are finally making broadband funding a larger priority. For more information on this trend, read:

Ed-tech stakeholder advocate for boost in e-Rate cap

FCC to revisit e-Rate

How to improve the e-Rate

5. Coding, programming, and…the arts?

Math and science was the hot trend for last year, but the 2013-14 school year is all about coding, programming, and music. Businesses across the U.S. say it’s time for students to learn the coding language, which can help fill an economic need for more web developers, game-creation experts, and security programmers. There’s also a new, emerging emphasis on music study, thanks in part to new neuroscience research suggesting that learning music can help students with memory and attention-span. For more information on this trend, read:

The coding movement: Resources for computer science education

Creating an app programming class for high schoolers

Music technology boosts student learning skills

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Meris Stansbury

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