With 2017 fast approaching, we take a look at the trends set to shape classrooms across the UK over the next year.
1. Flexible classrooms
In business, productivity has been linked to interior design; with improvements in comfort and access to suitable workspaces having a direct impact on employee performance and happiness. So, why should the classroom be any different?
As adults, we don’t sit in static rows of desks all day, and if we want to prepare students for the real world, it makes sense to create dynamic working environments that reflect life outside the traditional classroom.
Just as important is the concept of choice. Giving children the pick of where they want to work can sound daunting, but by making pupils responsible for their own learning – and asking them to articulate why they have chosen a particular space – flexible classrooms are set to change the world of teaching as we know it.
2. Teacher-authored content
While teacher-authored content has been around for many years, it’s only recently that the practice of buying and selling educational resources has really caught on. Indeed, developments in technology and a growth in collaborative cloud-based platforms have opened up a whole new way for teachers to share and sell (or buy) resources.
With most teachers already creating their own resources, concerns that they are becoming disillusioned with the content provided by traditional curriculum publishers, and established online marketplaces readily available, 2017 could see us on the verge of an educational content revolution.
3. Instant assessment
Instant assessment tools allow teachers to evaluate pupil comprehension at the moment of learning, in real time. By immediately identifying and tackling any gaps in knowledge, educators can then tailor their lessons to the actual needs of each and every pupil.
With new educational technologies able to crunch assessment data instantaneously, and provide assessments tailored to the needs of each student (or groups of students), depending on their ability, learning style, or project, instant assessment is set to maximise student learning over the next academic year.
4. Flipped learning
Flipped learning requires pupils to engage with instructional content in their own time, before undertaking corresponding tasks in the classroom. But the flipped classroom model is about far more than making a few videos for students to watch at home; instead it’s about making classrooms more active. Fundamentally flipped-learning rethinks the way teachers teach, and pupils learn.
With the global flip classrooms market (those companies that are providing technology to enable flipped-learning) predicted to grow by 37% in the next four years, clearly, teachers are catching on to the immense potential of this teaching model.
5. Educational technology
Edtech isn’t only helping to fuel the other trends on this list – it’s also making waves in its own right. With a global market worth $257 billion predicted by 2017, apps, gamification, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printers, robotics, and cloud-based platforms are all set to become key players in the modern classroom.
However, while educators are showing a willingness to use technology in the classroom, there remains a good deal of misinterpretation about what this involves. Edtech isn’t a key trend because it helps with teachable skills such as computing (although it does). Instead, it’s a powerful enablement tool that can help teachers to deliver multi-sensory learning experiences, across ALL subjects.
Reflecting the world we live in, the growth of educational technology over the next academic year and beyond is set to foster innovation, communication, and collaboration skills in classrooms across the UK.