What are the latest emerging and popular trends and teaching ideas in education? As trends tend to do, they change by the year. Consider how quiet iPads in the classroom have been recently, especially considering three years ago they were going to replace teachers and were compared to magic. While mobile devices like the iPad can indeed parallel a kind of magic in the learning process, it obviously has to fit into a progressive and supportive ecology of assessment, curriculum, and instruction. Not all of these teaching ideas will fit or work for everyone, but each of these teaching ideas below can be transformational for students in the right settings.
1. Maker learning. Maker education offers a transformational approach to teaching and learning that attends to the real and relevant needs of learners and humans. It is an approach that positions agency and student interest at the center, asking students to become more aware of the design of the world around them, and begin to see themselves as people who can tinker, hack and improve that design. Maker learning is fundamentally about approaches, mindsets, and community, and its focus on educators and the institutions they work in emerges from our core belief that maker education is about people. Programs like Makey Makey are essential for this.
2. Mobile learning. As mobile phones, tablets, and other connected devices become more prevalent and affordable, wireless technology can dramatically improve learning and bring digital content to students. Students love mobile technology and use it regularly in their personal lives. It therefore is no surprise that young people want to employ mobile devices to make education more engaging and personalize it for their particular needs. Technology-rich activities can sustain high levels of student engagement and peer collaboration compared to less technology focused activities.
3. Backward grading. Backwards grading, also called reverse grading, is a strategy where students start with zero points, or an F, then earn their advancement through demonstrated mastery of skills and learning standards. The typical classroom grading system has students starting with a 100 percent average, or an “A” letter grade. Ordinarily, this average gets chiseled away with every assignment or assessment. Some think that unless sustained perfection is realized, this is a grading system that doesn’t measure or communicate student progress.
4. Gamification. In education, gamification is intended to transform traditional lessons into an enhanced learning experience where students choose to explore and practice content, earning badges and status benefits. These might seem extrinsic, but the true rewards come from the students’ internal drive to study content, gain depth of understanding, and master material that leads to badges, achievements, and status. Success comes not from the rewards, but from how the learning journey is crafted for students to travel. Combining game mechanics with intentional exploration of aligned content will result in students’ participating willingly.
5. Self-directed learning. Self-directed learning, also known as student-directed learning, is an educational theory or method of content delivery in which the student takes control of their own education. Through the use of self-directed learning, students set their own goals and deadlines while following a broad assignment outcome. They participate in research relative to their own interests, while the teacher remains available for support if needed. Self-directed learning is an effective and beneficial way for students to grow their skills while remaining true to their interests, strengths, and talents. Student have both a freedom and responsibility to set and meet their own goals and deadlines, reinforcing the importance of proper management and decision-making.
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