Last week this blog featured top ed tech trends for 2014 culled from a variety of pundits and publications. This week we focus on trends in education policy and pedagogy. A couple of the trends, such as personalized learning and student data privacy concerns, mirror ed tech trends featured last week, but examine them from a different angle.
- Education funding. Although overall federal education funding approaches pre-sequestration levels under the new omnibus spending plan, as shown by this Committee for Education Funding chart, concerns remain about trends in long-term financial support.
- Early education focus: President Obama has identified early childhood education as a priority, and Head Start receives roughly a $1 billion increase under the omnibus spending plan signed into law on January 17. The plan also provides increased funding for Child Care and Development Block Grants.
- Backlash against the Common Core State Standards. Although the standards have the backing of a majority of teachers, concerns have been voiced from both ends of the political spectrum. Despite the backlash, however, PreK-12 Learning Group Executive Director Jay Diskey described the outlook for the standards as positive during a members-only webinar in September.
- Federal education policy. The reauthorization of the ESEA has been languishing in Congress for quite some time, and the prospects for movement in an election year remain bleak.
- Project-based learning. More and more, educators are recognizing the value of engaging students in meaningful, long-term projects that are learning experiences in themselves. Such types of learning also can support the Common Core State Standards, which focus on integration across the curriculum.
- Personalized learning. One of the potential benefits of the accumulation of “big data” on students is the ability to personalize learning to meet students’ individual needs. The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, which holds the promise of enabling teachers and students to more easily find appropriate educational content online, can play a key role in supporting this effort.
- Student data privacy concerns. The flip side of big data relates to fears about the safety of the student data gathered. These concerns have led to backlash against big data initiatives such as inBloom. A PreK-12 Learning Group webinar on “Privacy in a Social, Data-Driven World” last fall discussed current trends pertaining to this issue.
- Online learning. From MOOCs that can reach thousands of students to classroom projects that involve students in Internet research, online learning in all its forms remains a fast-growing segment of the educational landscape.
- Charter school boom. Legislation in Texas in 2013 raised the charter school cap, and proposed legislation in Pennsylvania could lead to significant increases there as well. Meanwhile, North Carolina could have more than 200 charter schools open in 2015, double the number from 2011.
- Wild Card: As with the ed tech predictions, let’s leave one slot open for that trend that rises from nowhere to become one of the year’s hot topics.
“5 Big Education Stories to Watch in 2014”
AlterNet, Jan. 16, 2014
“5 Trends in Education for 2014´
The Science of Learning Blog, Jan. 7, 2014
“2014 Trends: Demand, Online Learning, Entrepreneurs, and Cuts”
Sarah King Head
University World News, Jan. 10, 2014
“Three Social Trends That Will Influence Education in 2014”
Online Learning Insights, Dec. 13, 2013
Articles on Education Trends
Huffington Post, Jan. 1 and 6, 2014
“5 Higher-Ed Trends for 2014”
National Journal, Dec. 30, 2013
“Five Myths About the Common Core”
Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2013