By Teachers, For Teachers
Educational trends are constantly changing, and in order to stay relevant, you must keep up with them. One day you’re using a classroom projector, and the next it’s an innovative smart board. As technology and learning strategies evolve, so should we educators. Children as young as 2 are now able to navigate their way through an iPad, which means if they can learn at such an early age, then we need to be one step ahead of them. In order to meet the needs of our students, we need to stay current with our professional development, so we can deliver the best possible tools and knowledge to keep our students up to date within 21st century education.
Here are a few effective ways to help you keep up with educational trends over the summer (because you know they will be changing).
One of the best ways to enhance your comfort level with new educational trends such as tech tools is by taking a professional development class. This is a great way to learn what’s current, and you may even surprise yourself and really like it, and even become an expert. There are many affordable courses that can help you learn the tools that can enhance your students’ classroom experience. Also, the options for taking these classes have gotten easier with online courses. You can take a class to brush up on basically anything that you want to learn. Not only will your students reap the benefits, but you’ll also position yourself for a better career opportunity.
While many of you are already on social media, many of you are not. If you are one of those teachers who does not have a social media account, then you need to get one, because it’s one of the easiest ways to follow educational trends. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are all easy and effective ways to learn about what’s new in education. If you’re not that tech-savvy and are worried you won’t be able to navigate your way around social media sites, don’t fret, because all you have to do is search hashtags like #edtech, #edchat, and #education within those platforms to read all about the latest educational innovations.
If you want to keep up with the latest trends this summer without doing any of the legwork like taking an online course, you can easily gain knowledge by just signing up for a few educational newsletters. The great thing about newsletters is that once you sign up, they are sent to your inbox once a week. All you have to do to learn about what’s trending is open your email and take a few minutes to peruse your newsletter, it’s that simple. TeachHUB has a great newsletter that’s sent out weekly that will help keep you up to date about what’s new education.
Your colleagues are another great option to learn new trends in education. Everyone has at least one friend or colleague who is considered a “Techie.” Cultivating friendships with people like this can help you feel more comfortable around new technology that you have yet to grasp. If there’s a new device that you want to try out in your classroom, all you have to do is ask your tech friend how it works and they’ll be able to show you. Also, your colleagues are a great choice for learning about new strategies or theories in education. Depending on where they are in their career, some may be right out of college and have just learned something new, while others may have taken a workshop for their master’s degree. Either way their friendship can benefit you.
In today’s day and age, you can speak with basically anyone who has access to the internet. So if you want to learn more about a specific teaching strategy, like the flipped classroom, then you can easily contact an educational influencer such as Russell Stannard. He focuses on topics such as the flipped classroom and is a creator of teacher training videos. To learn more or to find out where he conducts his workshops you can just fill out this form.
In order to keep up with new educational trends and innovations, you must put in the time and do your homework. While it may feel impossible to keep up with all the latest educational trends, it is possible to follow hashtags on social media, chat with colleagues about what they know, subscribe to educational newsletters, and take a few online professional development courses to further your knowledge. By adopting this approach, you’ll be able to ensure that your students are “In-the-know” and have a general understanding of the latest educational innovations.
What is your favorite way to stay current with educational trends?
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 a master’s 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 @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.