Educators and leaders have adapted to many different challenges over the years. The way students learn has changed immensely ever since the pandemic started. Students have had to figure out how to learn in many different ways that most of the time don't align with how they best retain knowledge. These top learning trends have been the most prevalent and best proven ways to teach kids since the pandemic.

What is Social Emotional Learning?

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) allows students to learn more about their feelings and feel empathy while implementing it into their education. In order to get the best out of SEL, there are five competencies that the student should learn to get the best results. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning association, these five competencies are:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills
  • Making responsible decisions

Each of these fundamental components enables the student to develop greater communication and empathy skills, which might make them more willing to ask for assistance or make decisions about how to react to circumstances.

Educators use SEL by implementing it into the subjects that are taught every day like math and science. An example of how it would be used is by having students journal at the start of the day about their feelings or during a history class students could be separated into groups and asked to create their own roles in order to better complete the project. SEL is one of the most common learning trends in education today as students are learning to cope with their feelings more and more.

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a method where students gain hands-on experience and knowledge through projects and challenges they may find in the real world. We've all had that feeling, sitting in a classroom thinking about how what you're learning will never be used again, like the Pythagorean Theorem.

PBL allows for students to understand how what they are learning in the classroom may be used in everyday life. These projects are not just regular quick projects that you would normally participate in, rather they are investigative projects that allow for students to solve complex problems they may be faced with in the future. In order to understand PBL, we must understand that the world is basically a project-based world where we learn as we go. Project based learning is learning while doing.

What is Game Based Learning?

Game Based Learning is learning through games whether it's board games, role play scenarios or esports. Using game based learning increases creativity, social emotional learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers may use point systems or leaderboards to increase engagement among students.

Students are increasingly losing motivation to learn in part due to COVID-19; kids were forced to learn from home which caused an increase in misbehavior and loss in focus. Game based learning helps students get back that focus and engagement towards education because most kids can relate to playing games.

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential Learning is another way of learning by doing. This learning trend is more focused on experiences and connecting them to the real-world. Instead of projects, this learning trend can be seen through going to the zoo, internships or community service. Gaining experience and living through them allows for students to retain information better and apply that knowledge to everyday situations. Students tend to engage more through hands-on experiences instead of a regular day in the classroom which also offers an opportunity to reflect and be better prepared for the future.

What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning has become increasingly common due to COVID-19 when students had to go to class virtually. As the pandemic has ended, students are back in the classrooms learning face-to-face. Blended learning is a hybrid of face-to-face and virtual learning while still being in person. As this is not hybrid learning, where a student is half online and half in-person, the virtual learning included in blended learning is where a teacher may incorporate technology into a lesson through videos or online discussion. An assessment may be given online instead of on paper.

Blended learning allows for better engagement and learning to be more autonomous by giving students the opportunity to do tasks on their own time but also have a deadline. The biggest example of blended learning is a flipped classroom, where students read and learn any theoretical material at home and come to class ready to discuss and understand the information.

Leverage These Top Learning Trends in Education

All in all, these trends have become the best way for students to engage and learn while still being in the classroom. Every student has a different way of learning and these trends can help kids retain information easier, as well as motivate them to want to learn.