What’s Hot in Education?
If you’ve been in education for long enough, you know that there are certain topics that everyone seems to be discussing. TeachThought put together a list of the top 30 trending topics in education last summer. They based their ranking on five metrics: 1) top results from popular search engine data; 2) TeachThought’s own search data; 3) traffic and search data from popular education websites; 4) social media data; 5) TeachThought’s editorial board’s impressions as experts in the field.
The Hottest Topics in Education Today, Explained
Below are concise definitions of the top 30 educational trends today, with links to experts on each topic. Which ones are hot topics in your district? Which ones pique your interest?
Growth Mindset : “In a fixed mindset, individuals believe their basic abilities, and talents are fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset, individuals understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” ~ Carol Dweck, Mindset
Maker Learning: ” Maker education is a type of project-based learning that relies on hands-on learning experiences. Within maker education, projects often focus on solving real problems students face and involve taking a project from concept to reality in order to demonstrate learning.” ~ Sparkfun Education
Bloom’s Taxonomy: ” Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. Educators have typically used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of assessments(tests and other evaluations of student learning), curriculum (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), and instructional methods such as questioning strategies.” ~ The Glossary of Education Reform
Digital Citizenship / Learning: ” Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately… Digital citizenship is the continuously developing norms of appropriate, responsible, and empowered technology use.” ~ Digital Citizenship
Personalized Learning: “Personalized learning is an educational approach that aims to customize learning for each student’s strengths, needs, skills and interests. Each student gets a learning plan that’s based on what he knows and how he learns best. ” ~ Understood
Project-Based Learning: ” Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.” ~ PBL Works
Team-Building for Learning: “Team building is a process that develops cooperation and teamwork within a work unit. To constitute an effective team, its members must share a common goal, have respect for each other, and be motivated to use the strengths of each member to achieve their objectives. ” ~ WiseGeek
Blended Learning: “Blended learning is a term used to describe the way e-learning is being combined with traditional classroom methods and independent study to create a new, hybrid teaching methodology.” ~ MindFlash
Genius Hour: “Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. ” ~ Kesler Science
Teaching Empathy: “Empathy is the ability to share and understand other peoples feelings. By teaching empathy in the classroom students learn to understand one another and build friendships based on trust. Teaching empathy could be one of the answers to decreasing bullying.” ~ The Chalkboard
Pushing Back on Education Technology: “Technology has great benefits for schools. However, any conversation that does not include the potential dangers of the widespread use of technology would not be complete. Here, experts share the dark side of technology when it comes to its use in schools.” ~ The Edvocate
Social/Emotional Learning: “Social-emotional learning is the process of developing students’ knowledge, attitudes and skills to manage emotions, build healthy relationships, set goals and make decisions. Social-emotional skills are essential for working with others, building resiliency, achieving goals and reducing bullying and risk behaviors (e.g., substance use).” ~ Government of Alberta
Alternatives to Traditional “School”: “Most parents consider only brick-and-mortar facilities for their children’s education. Here are five alternative education styles for the parent who is ready, and willing, to put in time and effort (and sometimes money) to make a change.” ~ Mom.me
Robotics/Coding: Robotics is the study of robots. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create robots, as well as computer software, apps and websites. A web browser, your computer’s operating system, the apps on your phone, your Twitter feed… all depend on computer coding and machines. ~ Code Conquest
Alternatives to Letter Grades: “The letter grade fails because its job–to communicate learning results to learners and families—cannot possibly be performed a single symbol.” Here are alternatives to letter grades for evaluating student work. ~ Teachers With Apps
Brain-based Learning: “Related terms such as brain-based education or brain-based teaching, like brain–based learning, refer to instructional techniques that are grounded in the neuroscience of learning—i.e., scientific findings are used to inform educational strategies and programs.”~ The Glossary of Educational Reform
Gamification: “Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game play into it to motivate participation, engagement and cooperation.” ~ BunchBall
Adaptive Learning Algorithm: “Adaptive learning, also known as adaptive teaching, is an educational method which uses computer algorithms to deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner.” ~ Growth Engineering
Game-based Learning: “Game-based learning (GBL) is a type of game play that has defined learning outcomes. Generally, game-based learning is designed to balance subject matter with game play and the ability of the player to retain, and apply the subject matter to the real world.” ~ GameLearn
Mobile Learning: “Mobile learning (m-learning) is education via the Internet or network using personal mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones to obtain learning materials through mobile apps, social interactions and online educational hubs.” ~ Webopedia
Self-directed Learning: “Self directed learning is a way of creating a situation where learning is owned by the individual and aligned with organisational needs. Individuals take responsibility for decisions about their learning and work with others to achieve it.” ~ Brefi Group
Artificial Intelligence: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include speech recognition, learning, planning and problem-solving.” ~ Techopedia
Micro-education: “Micro-learning is learning in smaller segments and goes hand in hand with traditional e Learning. Activities include short-term lessons, projects, or assignments with smaller amounts of information. ” ~ Digital Chalkboard
Modular Education: “Modular education partitions degrees into smaller, Lego-like building blocks of learning, each with their own credentials, learning and skills outcomes.” ~ Forbes Magazine
Sociocultural / Socioeconomic Equity: “Sociocultural and socioeconomic equity relates to diversity and equality based on race and other measures of social difference such as age, class, and disability status.” ~ Create Equity
Flipped Classroom: “A flipped classroom consists of students completing direct instruction, such as viewing a lecture online, prior to the in-class discussion of the material. The intent is for students to see the material beforehand, also known as first-exposure learning, so they can learn the concepts at their own pace.” ~ Study.com
Scenario-based Learning: “Scenario Based Learning (SBL) is used extensively as a learner strategy in online learning. Not only does it provide high learner engagement as scenarios depict real life situations making them relatable, it also provides a safe environment to practice and understand consequences of their action.” ~ Adobe
BYOD/BYOT: BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a technology in which consumers bring their own software and hardward devices into an establishment for work or learning. Similarly, BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) refers to the use of consumer devices and applications in work or school.) ~ TechTarget.
Social Media in the Classroom: “Social media provides venues for students to share their stories both within and beyond the classroom. It also grants opportunities for them to hear stories from beyond their school. Finally, being connected helps students recognize the power of personal voice.” ~ Education Week
Digital Portfolios: “Digital portfolios provide a compilation of an individual’s best work, including texts, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, web materials, audio files, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, that capture a person’s versatility and learning.” ~ Classroom
Current Topics in Your School
What are the most important topics in your district, right now? Drop a note in the comments section.