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As new education trends lead to innovative teaching and learning, here are some of the top trends to look for, like this student wearing a VR headset in the classroom.

5 of the biggest education trends in 2023

As new education trends lead to innovative teaching and learning, here are some of the top trends to look for

With the start of a new year and education conference season just beginning, educators and industry leaders are discovering the biggest education trends for 2023. The past few years have seen a significant transformation for education and edtech, and 2023 will continue to bring new ideas and emerging technologies.

This year, schools are placing a focus on supporting students’ individual needs and recovering pandemic learning loss. Because of this, we will see an increase in edtech to support learning, better accommodations for students, a focus on wellbeing, and new approaches to teaching that engage with students’ interests and future careers.

Here are five of the biggest education trends for 2023:

1. Social and Emotional Wellbeing

The pandemic prompted the need for a stronger focus on supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of students and teachers alike. As we rebound from the academic, emotional, and community challenges that arose during the pandemic, schools will need to ensure they’re offering the support and resources that students and teachers need.

Children and teens are currently experiencing higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts than before the pandemic, and the academic and emotional pressures that come with recovering pandemic learning loss continue to affect student wellbeing. In 2023, we will see schools working to improve mental health programs, provide new academic support systems and resources for students, and implement technologies and programs focused on social-emotional learning and student wellbeing.

Teachers are struggling too: The demands of teaching have led to high rates of teacher stress and anxiety, and K-12 educators have the highest burnout rate of any profession in the U.S. To support teacher wellbeing and retain valuable, talented educators, schools will embrace new ways improve teachers’ work-life balance and wellbeing, including implementing new edtech tools, offering mental health resources, or even redesigning school spaces to better support educators in the classroom.

2. Personalized and Self-Led Learning

Personalized learning is by no means a new education trend, but learning models focused on an individualized or personalized approach will continue to evolve in 2023. Learning gaps widened during the pandemic, and as students continue to work to recover this learning, they will benefit from individualized learning opportunities. Schools will continue to provide struggling students with tutoring services, while advanced students will find new learning opportunities through online courses or internships outside the classroom.

Self-led, active learning will also see a rise as teachers enable students to work at their own pace and make more decisions about their learning––from what types of assignments they complete to how they want to work in the classroom. We expect this to motivate schools to create more flexible, active learning spaces that can be modified to fit a wide variety of learning needs. This will include the addition of modular pieces, tech-enabled learning areas, and a variety of different seating options to ensure student comfort and encourage movement.

3. Game-Based Learning and Esports

Ninety-seven percent of adolescents play at least one hour of video games per day, so bringing games into the classroom is intuitive for students. Gamified learning motivates students to engage with educational content in a different way, keeping students excited about their progress and helping to synthesize learning. Bringing games into the classroom also gives students an opportunity to explore social-emotional principles, increasing their adaptability and communication and improving their ability to work with others.

In the past several years, schools have also seen an increase in esports team participation. In 2023, we expect this trend to continue, with schools investing more resources into building esports teams and creating comprehensive esports spaces where teams can gather, practice, and compete. Evidence shows that academic esports benefits students’ overall academic performance and social emotional learning. Plus, students who are successful in esports competitions earn significant opportunities for college and scholarships.

4. Microlearning and Nano-Learning

“Microlearning,” or “nano-learning,” is a learning approach that has been successfully used in corporate training for a while, but it’s expected to really emerge in K-12 education in 2023. This bite-sized learning technique targets small chunks of learning content, which are presented to students in short, easily digestible tutorials or mini-lessons. Lessons focus on repetition of the same concepts spaced out over time, with the goal of increased retention.

The rapid growth of short-form video content like TikTok and Instagram Reels has illuminated the possibilities of using microlearning to engage students. Students are already turning to TikTok for homework help, which can expose them to new ideas and topics, but also opens students up to potential misinformation. Microlearning emerging as a K-12 education trend will enable teachers to better curate the bite-sized content students seek out for their learning, providing them with engaging content that breaks down complex topics into less intimidating chunks.

5. AR, VR, and AI

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are all projected to become more prevalent as educational tools and resources in 2023. These technologies will be working behind the scenes in some of the ways they will benefit education, such as AI being used to target students’ learning through edtech tools and platforms.

In other applications, AR, VR, and AI will be used directly by students. Students will participate in VR and AR experiences, gaining access to more immersive learning experiences through these tools. With easy-to-use AI art generators becoming more popular, they may use AI in creative endeavors. There are also AI programs available to help students find quality resources for research assignments, help them refine their writing, explain complex math problems, and more. When students graduate, they will encounter and use these technologies in college and their careers, so early exposure will prove beneficial.

We anticipate that this year will be exciting as new education trends transform learning in classrooms far and wide.

37 predictions about edtech’s impact in 2023

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