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Top Trends in Education for 2016 and Beyond

Today’s educators are saddled with issues like declining budgets and aging facilities, but that doesn’t stop the education field from rapidly evolving from year to year. New educational techniques are constantly being developed, and school districts are continuously finding new ways to increase efficiency and improve student outcomes. As the 2015 school year revs up, educators are adjusting to a new cohort of students and adapting to a new round of educational trends.

The best schools stay ahead of a shifting educational landscape to help their students succeed. Here are some of the trends that will be impacting schools through 2016 and beyond:

1. More Efforts to Track Student Success
Assessment is one of the trickiest tasks in all of education, but it is also a necessary part of identifying successful educational strategies. Accurate assessment is particularly important in today’s climate of lessened budgets and large class sizes, because teachers need to discover the most efficient ways to educate their students.

Modern web-connected technologies offer a range of new and different ways to test student achievement, and the next few years may bring significant advancements in this space, according to Inc. magazine. While some fear a data-driven approach to student assessment will lead to a homogenized learning environment that ignores individual students’ learning styles, the opposite might actually be true.

2. Individualized Educational Experiences
As people have researched how students learn, it has become increasingly apparent that no two students absorb information the same way. To properly educate an entire classroom, teachers need to apply several different educational techniques at once.

“No two students learn the same way.”

According to Education Week, technology allows teachers to deploy different versions of a lesson for individual students based on learning styles and need. Of course, pairing a student with the learning system that will work best for them requires a deep understanding of how students learn. That’s where advanced assessment comes in. Technology in education is near a tipping point where it will revolutionize every part of the student experience. By tracking the progress of today’s students and taking minor steps toward a more personalized learning environment, today’s teachers are paving the way for even bigger changes in the future.

3. Flipped Learning
Traditionally, students have gone to class and received lectures that illustrate the day’s lessons. Following their time in school, students return home to complete assignments related to the day’s classes. Though this model has served generations of students well, today’s educational experts think it may be time for a change. Many educators are advocating a “flipped” classroom model, which is focused on collaboration and hands-on learning.

Rather than completing work at home, students in a flipped classroom spend their time after school reading about the next day’s topics and watching prerecorded lectures online. When students arrive in the classroom the next day, they will complete assignments that would traditionally be considered “homework”.

This approach has several advantages over the traditional model. It allows students to apply knowledge in a space where the instructor can provide consistent feedback. Additionally, it allows teachers to construct more elaborate in-class activities that encourage collaboration between students.

4. Assistive Technology and Accessibility
According to InformationWeek, the coming years will be more welcoming toward differently abled students. Technology will allow educators to create more in-depth plans to support students with disabilities and these systems will make it possible to integrate differently abled students into traditional classrooms.

“Assistive technology helps all students.”

That has clear benefits for the students who require these technologies, but every student will actually benefit from the knowledge gained through these new systems.

5. Safety and Security
School shootings and other attacks on children are a serious concern for today’s administrators. These realities will force schools to reconsider their current safety systems and implement new ways to protect students from attackers, according to a piece published by District Administration.

The types of security features schools will implement include improved video surveillance systems and security protocols. Many schools are currently debating the use of armed guards, and many districts have already hired additional personnel to protect students. There is no single way to make students substantially safer, but school administrators must investigate every possible option to keep schools secure.

These are just a few of the trends that will affect school administrators, and many of the changes coming to education will require renovation or the construction of new facilities. Budgets remain tight for many districts, so administrators will need to pursue cost-effective ways to increase space on campus or cut the expenses associated with construction.

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