There are many educational trends that have shaped our education system today. There are a few ever growing trends such as online learning, flipped classroom and assessments and measurement systems within the classroom that stand out. These types of trends can be seen throughout many school systems and have become a “normal” routine with many students. As these trends grow the future the now and the future can see many different benefits for students. Each student is different and all students learn differently. What may work for a student does not always work for the next, which is why it is important to have many options such as the trends listed here. The goal is to improve the learning experience and allowing students to have their own way of learning will benefit everyone who is involved in the entire educational process.
Online learning is something that many school systems and colleges have adopted to help students learn. This type of learning has changed the way that students and teacher interact in the classroom. Online learning is a nontraditional tool for students who want to take classes but can’t do it on campus because of various reasons such as jobs, family, etc. In some cases completing classes in an accelerated program will help them reach their goals more quickly than if they were to go the traditionally route of taking classes. These students need to complete their school more quickly and on their own time. There is much debate over whether or not online classes are educationally comparable to on campus classes and according to The Education Commission of the States study there is not much difference between the outcome of students going on campus or taking online courses. “In general, studies have not found a measurable difference in student learning between online and traditional courses.” (ECS, 2014, pg 3)
Flipped classroom is “The flipped classroom is a pedagogical approach in which the learning is student-centered rather than teacher-centered, mediated by technology.” (Jorge, R., 2015, PG 1) With the struggle of teachers trying to communicate with every student and the never ending struggle of trying to teach each student so they each take what they need and should from each lesson has become a little easier with this type of concept. Flipped classroom teaching style can include recorded lectures and a combination of online learning and classroom learning.. Teachers are able to work with all students as a group and have more individual time too. Students who grasp the information faster than others can work with other students in the classroom who may be struggling which can be a benefit to the classroom as well. The many different ways that a flipped classroom can be used is a great tool in helping each individual student get to their educational goals.
Assessments and measurements systems used in the classroom are ways of gauging where the school system is at with following and presenting the standards provided by the state. “On July 7, 2010, with a unanimous vote, the Connecticut State Board of Education (SBE) adopted new national academic standards known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics that will establish what Connecticut’s public school students should know and be able to do as they progress through Grade K-12.” (CT.GOV, 2015, para 2) The common core was designed “to provide a set of standards for schools to follow so that students would meet a basic set of performance requirements.” (Zimmer, S., 2014, para 1).There are many people who dislike the Common Core practice and have many concerns about the whole process because they feel as though there is no room for each child to be an individual or learn at their own pace. Also teachers will have to change their entire approach of teaching to make sure that all students stay at the stages they should be at. With the assessments and measurements many students, parents and teachers find it to be a difficult and stressful time for the child especially if they are not at a learning level the Common Core says they should be at. “Teachers have become increasingly concerned, however, that states have tied evaluation systems to the new standards and assessments before the kinks have been ironed.” (Kappan, P. 2015, pg 16-17) There is so much pressure on children and the teachers to do well with the assessments. Low scores can reflect badly on teachers and the entire school.
With these three types of trends we can see schools struggling to keep up with the times. Online learning, flipped classrooms, assessments and measuring bring more budgeting for an educational facility which can be difficult. “The last three years of drastic austerity measures imposed by budget caps and sequestration have left education funding levels at pre-2008 levels.” (NEA, 2015, para 1) Federal and state cuts of education can reduce the amount of important things that the school can do for their student’s including making sure they have the tools and supplies needed to have technology for a flipped classroom or even reduced lunches for students who can’t afford lunch. The Common Core which is responsible for assessments and measuring trend, was majorly funded by the Gates foundation, over $200 million dollars was generated by this foundation for its creation and implementation. Flipped classroom and online learning have funding issues as well and with the budget cuts. “The growth and use of e-learning programs to increase revenues can create the potential for further reduction in state funding.” (Byrd, J., Mixon, P., 2013, pg 602) If the school can put money into something as important as online learning, it can help other areas of the school where funding is low. This will benefit the overall student body and have a greater impact for them.
There are many demographics for online learning, flipped classroom and assessments and measurements. Online learning has become an important tool for colleges especially because of the decreased enrollments through the years. Online learning allows the schools to enroll students from any location, age and various other characteristics that they may have never been able to enroll. This increases the schools revenue which is important for all areas of the educational facility. According to the article Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance Education: An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning, 96% of teachers who have used the flipping trend within their classroom would recommend this type of teaching practice to another teacher. Almost 50% of teachers have used the flipping technique for at least one lesson. Before flipped learning, about 50% of students were failing math and English. After flipped learning these numbers were dramatically reduced to 19% and 13% fails for math and English This type of information proves that flipping a classroom has many different benefits of a regular classroom. With common core and the assessments and measurements that take place interestingly enough has increased the amount of students who are homeschooled. 6 out of 10 teachers do not want the standard and majority of teachers are just unhappy about having this in their classrooms.
The trends discussed here are trends that are here to stay. Through the struggles, funding issues or the favored or frowned upon ideas that educators may have about these types of trends they are molding the future of education right in front of our eyes. There will be an increased amount of schools and colleges who will be online which will allow a greater demographics of students to get this type of education. Flipped classroom is something that can funded and adapted within schools to help and ensure each students get the type of direction they need to succeed. With the fact that all students learn differently, this will allow students to take control of the learning process and put the ball in the student’s court giving them more control of their education. Assessments and measuring has good and bad parts. There are many people who agree on the importance of these types of trends and others who disagree. This type of trend can get better or worse with time, and only time will tell the actual impact. Time is the factor in all trends coming and going. Education can benefit with what is learned and improved through the years, and hopefully will use the information in a more positive way to continue improving education for all future students.
Byrd, J., Mixon, P. (2012 Revenues and E-learning: Do Universities Need an Online P Presence?, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management Vol. 34, No. 6, 6 601–609, Retrieved from h http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=dab8ba3d-3c52-4c20-a a1ed-e7071bb9c32a%40sessionmgr4002&vid=12&hid=4102
Connecticut Department of Education (2015) Latest News, Retrieved from h http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2618&q=322592
ECS (2011) Next-Generation Models to Increase Success and Control Costs, H
Higher Education Reform, volume number 12, edition 4, Retrieved from
Gobry, P.E (2012) What is the Flipped Classroom and Why is it Amazing? Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2012/12/11/what-is-the-flipped-classroom-model-and-why-is-it-amazing-with-infographic/
Howell, S., Lindsey, N., Williams P., (2003) Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance E Education: An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning, Online Journal of D Distance Learning Administration, Volume 6, Edition 3, Retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall63/howell63.html
Jorge R. (2015) Active Learning and the Flipped Classroom, Training and Development, volume number 42, edition 5, Retrieved from h http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=10c06d15-bbe2-41f0-8 c3d-ff60c6739c68%40sessionmgr115&vid=4&hid=127
National Education Association (2015) Education Funding, Retrieved from h http://www.nea.org/home/1019.htm
Zimmer, S. (2014) Funding for the Common Core, Retrieved from h http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=dab8ba3d-3c52-4c20-a 1ed-e7071bb9c32a%40sessionmgr4002&vid=7&hid=4102