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What's new in the world of teaching? Source: Van Tay Media/ Unsplash

From the moment educators would stand in awe of interactive whiteboards, to the moment where students were assigned an iPad to work from, there have been numerous revelations and trends in the world of teaching in past years.

Not only have learning styles differed, but there has also been a diversion in the use of educational technologies.

With the rise of experiential learning plans, teachers are on the lookout for fresh and engaging ways to keep learners active and to maintain a healthy balance of work and play in the classroom.

So, what are three major shifts that have worked in schools so far?

A dynamic approach to SEL skill development

As explained in a recent article by The Brookings Universal Center for Education, a key theme of transformative K-12 education is the emphasis on social and emotional learning (SEL) skills development.

When teachers tune into their students’ SEL skills and attempt to heighten them, learners receive long-term benefits.

“Education can take advantage of the malleability of the adolescent brain to bolster the cognitive, social, and emotional skills that can positively change the life trajectory of youths,” the article notes.

Supported by CASEL research, benefits are plenty.

“For example, 57 percent more students in schools with an SEL programme improved their skills compared to students in schools without an SEL programme, 27 percent more improved their academic performance, and 24 percent more improved their emotional well-being and social behaviour,” CASEL highlights.

Shifting the focus onto a wide range of skills such as SEL, rather than just broad academic abilities, the world of teaching has become multi-faceted and open to new ways of thinking.

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Shifting the focus onto SEL skills. Source: Santi Vedrí/ Unsplash

Rolling in the robots

The introduction of AI minds is a new addition to the global education sector.

Automation isn’t set to replace teachers anytime soon and the use of robots in the classroom may still be in its infancy, but there are already examples of how they are being used. To boot, early testing suggests robots can help facilitate students’ learning.

From Tega, MIT’s Personal Robots Group’s social robot that resembles a soft toy and acts as a learning companion for children that is also being used to help children pick up a second language, to the NAO Robot who is 58 cm-tall and from Softbank Robotics; robots are rolling their way into classrooms across the world.

A huge shift in the world of teaching, a robotic sidekick helps to improve students’ communication skills and increases engagement within lessons.

Integrating the Internet of Things (IoT)

A growing trend in schools today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that refers to connecting any device with an on and off switch to the internet (and/or to each other).

Helping schools become more energy-efficient, and helping them to save money, IoT is an integral tool that impacts both lesson plans and school designs.

According to Medium, “Within school buildings and in classrooms smart HVAC systems may help save money and energy by functioning only when needed.”

It also helps to keep schools secure, with internet-connected security cameras and student ID cards with radio frequency identification device chips, IoT helps to ease teachers’ concerns about their learners’ welfare.

And even though these are just a handful of shifts that are happening right now in the world of teaching, with the rise of tech and AI-integrated initiatives, there will inevitably be more to come.

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