8 Trends to Watch in 2014
Just five days into the New Year, there are lots of predictions about what will happen in 2014 in business, the stock market, technology, and yes in education. While not surprising, it is interesting how many people are discussing the same kinds of trends in education this year. Lots of folks have already started thinking about how technology will continue to impact the classroom (CSEW’s hour of code 2013 was huge). Supporters and critics continue to debate the flaws and merits of the Common Core. There is even early talk about how we continue to look at learning styles primarily as we continue to grapple with questions like: how the brain works (relationship to learning), design and the implications to how we teach (setting/environment and academic structure), and the all-important question of cost? Whew! While I am eager to get down to work, I realize there are only 365 days in 2014 and lots of work to get done before the end of the year.
When considering which trends to highlight in my blog post, Dr. Jeff Borden’s ideas about where educators should invest their energy in 2014 seemed an interesting place to start. Of Borden’s eight, there are two trends that I intend to watch closely: learning spaces as well as neuroscience and learning design. While Borden clearly suggests we look closely at advances in technology, his suggestions also consider best practices in terms of where children learn (their environment) and how they learn (the brain). These trends are very important to me because I do not think we can adequately teach children if we do not understand the best way to teach them and the best environment to get the work done. I truly believe children learn best when they feel safe. I also believe they learn best when in an environment that is child friendly. I am not a proponent of spending unnecessary millions on brick and mortar; however, I would (absolutely) spend what is necessary to make sure children feel at ease in their learning environment. Finally, I also appreciate Dr. Borden’s suggestion that we look more closely at the connection between neuroscience and learning. I think it is essential for us to better understand how our students’ brains receive and process the information that we teach.
While I have tried to quickly highlight Dr. Borden’s 8 trends, and how they resonate with me, each of his trends is important so please check out Dr. Borden’s 8 trends for 2014 for yourself. I’d love to hear from you about the trends in education that you believe are important in 2014. tlb
*Dr. Borden is VP of Instruction & Academic Strategy at Pearson eCollege.