#1. Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is arguably the most ground-breaking trend engulfing K-12 and higher education institutions worldwide. After establishing its name across continents as the only way to meet the needs of every single student, it has since leaped to fame, receiving funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and fueling further demand for adaptive learning platforms. Adaptive learning incorporates personalization to tailor the learning experience to suit each and every student. The incredible technology used within adapts to a student’s pace, needs, and styles, enhancing and simplifying the learning process where necessary. Higher education and K-12 institutions are reporting phenomenal success with adaptive learning platforms as a means of reaching out to every single student.

#2. Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is an inevitable advancement in education. As we continuously turn towards mobile technology for consumption, educators can finally meet students where they are, using mobile devices to facilitate learning. Through innovative movements like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), mobile devices are being encouraged within classrooms, with the focus on how they can be used for learning, collaboration, and engagement. More and more educational bodies are investing in mobile learning as it causes massive disruption, revolutionizing the paradigms of education.

#3. Flipped and Blended Learning

Blended and flipped learning have been making significant ground within education in an effort to ‘flip’ our current understanding of education and experiment with technology in a way that challenges traditional barriers. In opposition to the typical teacher-centered classroom, flipped learning maintains a student-centered environment through the use of video lecturing; moving instruction out, and bringing construction in. In the flipped classroom, the notions of classwork and homework are inverted and re-evaluated, placing new emphasis on student collaboration and constructive learning.

#4. Competency-Based Education

Competency-based education is making a lot of noise in higher education and beyond. Based on the idea of students progressing through mastery of competencies over standardized testing, this is yet another trend challenging traditional norms. With an emphasis on student progression at a personalized pace and depth, the idea gives students more control, encouraging self-assessment and independent learning while adapting a curriculum to meet a student’s individual needs. Competency-based learning has gained huge success in higher education, with educators claiming the revolutionary method is unique in that it measures learning, rather than time.

#5. Learning Analytics

Learning analytics are being used by higher education and K-12 institutions worldwide as a means of gaining key insights into student progress and performance, and significantly reducing the administrative tasks of educators. Learning analytics bring education data to the fore, using it to enhance the learning experience for every student, and track each student’s individual learning path through clear visual aids. Using analytics, educators are now equipped with the ability to view exactly which students require further help, or those who require more challenging material, with real-time feedback options available throughout. The introduction of learning analytics signifies big changes in education, connecting teachers, students, parents and administrators through a single, in-depth view of progress and performance.

The above trends are acting as significant game-changers in the education industry as a whole, completely re-evaluating our thinking about the education and learning process. Educators from all paths of life can join the movement of innovative thinking that’s happening across the globe, with the help of an adaptive learning platform like Fishtree. 2014 marks an exciting time for education leaders, with big things ahead as these trends signify only the beginning… [more to follow].

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About the author:


Lorna Keane is a teacher of French, English and ESL. She specializes in language teaching and has taught in second and third-level institutions in several countries. She holds a B.A in languages and cultural studies and an M.A in French literature, theory and visual culture. Follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

Image credits: K.W. Barrett / CC BY 2.0