Jason Monk





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4 Big Trends in Children's Education

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It's an exciting time to be an educator. Technology and psychology are merging to create a more stable learning environment that is strengthening equality in the classroom. Today, teachers have a vast array of tools available that allow them to engage with their students. Educational psychology is developing in order to study how students learn. With data obtained directly from the classroom, personalized programs can be designed for each child, depending on what is needed.


From EdTech to innovative teaching systems, schools are not so much about teaching as they about preparing students for the real world. This article will briefly cover the coolest things to hit the classroom since the chalkboard.


1. The Four Cs - Content-Centered to Student-Centered


The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) has actually been around since 2002. A number of private and public organizations collaborated to incorporate critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity into the curricula of schools, school districts, and professional development programs. The P21 program was designed as a part of the “personalized learning


Content-centered teaching methods have gradually been replaced with student-centered environment. This doesn’t mean classrooms lose their teachers, but that students and teachers play a collaborative role then what was offered in the traditional classroom setting. This student-centered system is intended to allow children to learn how it is they learn best, rather than forcing every child to learn the same way, and at the same pace.


2. Innovative Learning Environments


Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) have been around for a few years or so by now, but they continue to evolve as educators test and adopt new methods. The point behind ILEs is to provide a more relaxing and flexible place for children to learn. Classrooms that support an ILE system are usually larger open plan areas that include smaller breakout and meeting style rooms.


According to CORE’s white paper on Modern Learning Environments by Mark Osborne, Innovative Learning Environments are places that are "open, flexible learning environments where inquiries are shared, interventions devised collaboratively, and reflections based on both self and peer observations."


The primary idea behind ILEs is that learning should be more personalised and student-led. This makes designing learning activities for a range of students a very important part of the entire concept of ILEs. Predictable variability is the first part of the design. This means that the teachers know and understand there is a diverse range of unique learners, and each of them has their own strengths and challenges.


3. Educators Are Beginning to Harness Big Data


Big Data has pretty much permeated every sector imaginable. It was only a matter of time until the education sector realized the power they unknowingly possessed in all of that Big Data they accumulate over time. Now teachers only need to press a button and they can instantly see where each student needs more support, what assignments that are causing them difficulties, and those who are doing well all around.


Rather than sifting through piles of papers, educators are able to focus more important, caring aspects of the job while Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics is processing data sets. This new technological breakthrough will allow institutions to gain a complete understanding of the entire education process. For example, are the tasks they are setting for students clear enough, or could they be designed better.


As these advances in technology paint a clearer picture of what is going on deeper within the classroom, educators are able to see that sometimes it is their own system that dampens the learning experience. Big Data sets and Machine Learning can help clear most, if not all, of the confusion.


4. Promoting Healthier Sleep Habits in Students


Recent studies are showing that, despite teens seeming so full of life and energy, they actually need more sleep than adults do. In order for teens to feel alert and fully rested at the start of the day, it is highly recommended that they get about nine hours of sleep or so every night. Everything from home environment to what kind of mattress they sleep on can affect sleep. For more info on that, you can visit here.  


Information also suggests that sleep patterns are set well before the age of 13. As scientists are bringing awareness to this fact, educators are now advising parents to be sure to get good sleep habits for students early on.

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