By Teachers, For Teachers
What’s new in the teaching profession? What topics are educators are talking about today? As educators, we are always looking to see what’s “Buzzworthy” in the teaching profession so we can keep up with the current trends and stay relevant in our field. By paying attention and understanding these buzzwords that are currently trending in the teaching profession, we can support our students in an informative way. Some of you may have heard of a few of these current trending topics, or some of you may have yet to embrace them. Here’s a look at what’s trending in conversations in your local teachers’ lounges.
Every day that you are on the Internet, you are contributing to your digital footprint. Whether you like it or not, you are leaving a digital footprint behind. Students may not understand the implications of their actions when they are online. So in this digital world that we are all now a part of, it is imperative to teach students the ramifications of what they do, and what they share via social media or online. One online blemish like an inappropriate comment or photograph can negatively impact their future in a profound way. We are just beginning to learn more about this educational trending buzzword, so stay tuned.
Digital literacy has been trending in education since we first heard the term in 2006. Once technology had integrated into the school system, educators used this term to reference the ability of using digital tools to help students understand information. Digital literacy encompasses computers, smartphones, tablets, or any other digital piece of technology. Students that use these devices are called “Digital citizens.” A digital citizen is yet another educational buzzword that is currently still trending. In short, digital literacy is the ability to organize, understand, evaluate, and produce information through any means of digital technology.
Genius hour is a set time of about one hour out of the school day where students are allowed to explore their own passions and interests. During this set period of time, students are able to work on a “Passion project.” They develop inquiry questions about something of interest, and then are free and able to explore it. Once they find their answers, they present their findings to the class. Genius Hour started gaining popularity in 2014, and since then, has really taken off in classrooms across the country. This trending topic is said to be a great way to make lifelong learners.
If you were to look inside an elementary school classroom, you may be surprised to see what the students are sitting on. You may see students behind a stand-up desk, sitting on crates with wheels, or sitting on exercise balls. You may even see students on bean bags or wobble seats. This is called flexible seating, the new way for students to get their wiggles out while they work. Let’s face it, sitting in a traditional seat all day long can get boring. Flexible seating has taken over the classrooms, and I’m pretty sure it’s here to stay.
Personalized learning is an educational buzzword that makes the top of the list for what’s trending in education right now. This is where students learn how they want, what they want, and where they want. Teachers design their curriculum with a lot of different levels, so students can learn at their own pace. This way of learning can address the needs of all learners while students still learn the same content, but just in a different format. This student-centered model of learning has become quite popular in classrooms today. Oftentimes, personalized learning is used interchangeably with differentiation. However, it should not be, because personalized learning puts the learner first, while differentiation is when teachers design for the masses, but try to adapt to each individual learner. Ultimately, the learner gets a voice and choice and is responsible for their own learning.
These are just a few of the top trending topics in education today. You may have also heard of blended environments or blended learning, formative assessments, participatory learning, civic education, and the list goes on. Through thoughtful dedicated teaching we can use these educational trends to help support all of our students so they can get the best education that is available to them.
What trending topics in the teaching profession are you learning about? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you have to say.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.