Once you’re done taking stock of 2014, it’s time to look ahead to the upcoming year. Although most of us are technically in the middle of a school year, the calendar still gives us an opportunity to prepare and evaluate where we are as educators and where we want to be. If you want to be at the front of the line for the latest trends, here’s what to look for in 2015.
Self-directed professional development
The model of an educator’s professional development (PD) coming from department meetings or giant conferences is slowly adapting to the fact that teachers can expand their toolkits at any time at any place online. That’s not to say that meetings and conferences don’t have value or will be going away.
Every week, teachers “meet” under the #edchat hashtag on Twitter. Questions are asked and answered. Best practices are shared. This is a microcosm of PD in the 21st century, and it’s only going to grow as more options are curated and advanced.
Customized, personalized learning
Technology in education has moved from the stage of people coming up with ideas to people maximizing those ideas for every learner. That means adaptive learning environments, assistive technologies for ELL and disabled students, and multi-modal presentation capabilities. It’s time for technology to work for every student.
Smaller collaboration teams
Department meetings have their purpose (mainly the dissemination of curriculum material and strategies), but teachers and administrators are starting to see the value in smaller teams with specific goals.
Think about regular meetings of just the teachers who work with a group of students who are struggling or a team of teachers from each subject area investigating how a strategy can work for everyone. Time for these meetings needs to be built into various schedules, but just as how we like for students to work in small groups, teachers should also be afforded that opportunity.
The use of “big data”
Data analysts are being poached from the private sector to work in the bigger districts, analyzing performance data from schools and trying to find any patterns that can be exploited.
The more and more students use technology, the more data is captured about their progress. Teachers can read those reports and make ground-level decisions, but sometimes it’s better for someone to be able to take a mile-high view.
Do you see any other trends developing in your school or district? Let us know in the comments section.
Speaking of personalized learning, check out our special section here on the blog, full of tips on bringing the benefits of personalization to your classroom.