The global education industry is evolving rapidly. With the rapid expansion of technology, educators are using various tools to help students learn and develop skills in new ways. This blog post highlights four emerging trends that will shape teaching and learning for years to come!

The Growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

One of the most notable trends in education in the past five to ten years has been the rapid development and growth of MOOCs. A MOOC is defined as a course whose scope is massive, typically provided free of charge, and accessible online to a large number of people. In fact, there are over 100 organizations offering courses through various platforms, including edX, Coursera, Udacity, FutureLearn, and others. It’s important to note that these “course providers” have different business models ranging from non-profit educational institutions such as Harvard University and MIT to for-profit technology companies such as Coursera. The cost for students ranges based on factors such as the number of courses, if the course is accredited, etc.

The Development of School-Issued Devices

Another emerging trend in education is the development of school-issued devices. One approach to issue devices in schools has been to implement one device per student, which is referred to as a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. Under this model, students are responsible for their own technology and use it both in class and at home. This can be very effective when implemented properly, but may not always be realistic given cost concerns or technological capabilities of either devices or networks. Several companies/school districts have provided alternatives such as leasing plans for tablets over periods of several years or giving them away free through fundraising efforts. Regardless of how they are acquired, more educational institutions are beginning to realize the importance of integrating technology into the classroom.

The Evolution of Digital Footprinting / Social Learning Platforms

Another interesting trend is how students are learning to curate their digital footprint through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Granted, this has likely changed the way some educators teach in far more drastic ways than others, depending upon their comfort level with using technology or if they even choose to use these tools at all. However, it’s clear that this is an area that will continue to see significant growth over the coming years. Some teachers may consider incorporating various “social learning” tools like Edmodo, Padlet, ClassFlow, and Google + into their curriculum plans for next year!