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Trends in Educational Leadership for 2020 and Beyond

As the world changes, the best teachers change with it. What new educational developments has 2020 brought? Which of them are poised to be the blueprint for years to follow? Here are some trends that are changing classrooms and providing the type of learning future students can use to grow and thrive.

Technology is here to stay

What was once seen as an option for post-secondary students alone or very few public school K-12 learners is now commonplace. Online learning and remote teaching tools have made their way into elementary and high school classrooms for good. No matter what the standard school looks like in the next decade, video conferencing, online classroom management, and virtual learning opportunities will become more popular during even the most stable times in our world. For educational leaders, this means more digital tools at their disposal for personalizing learning, using performance data and engaging gifted students with advanced work without removing them from the larger classroom.

Decreasing attention spans

Kids aren't paying attention quite like they used to, thanks to a decreasing ability to stay focused. Studies show that kids had a 12-second attention span in the year 2000, compared to the much shorter 8-second span today. Teachers will have to work harder to focus that shrinking window, and educational leaders have a new challenge to meet in designing curricula and producing learning tools for various purposes. Visual learning, high-concept illustrations, and voice prompts may play important roles in making this happen.

Loss of the lecture

The typical top-down learning delivery method isn't working like it used to. Instead of just assuming a position as a lecturer and an evaluator, teachers are now undertaking the role of a facilitator, too. Just as corporations have used learning facilitation to teach business and industry concepts, today's classroom professionals need to figure out how to encourage students and model good learning habits. Educational leaders will play an important role in creating these future "facilitator" frameworks; if done well, empowered students can take ownership of their own learning outcomes.

The world as a classroom

What happens inside a school building's walls may be just the beginning of a truly exceptional education. Experiential learning, something that has seen increased use over the last decade, invites students to engage with the environment they are learning about. Whether it's visiting a pond to learn about amphibian life cycles or taking part in a business incubator to understand what makes a tech company tick, new classroom models will take every opportunity to teach kids away from the desk. Educational leaders will need to see all the possibilities.

A new kind of professional development

Teachers are, by nature, lifelong learners. In addition to continually taking workshops and attending conferences to keep their skills fresh, they are often the first to pursue an advanced degree when given a chance. While professional development in the past may have involved more classroom time and additional certification, the future of growth may involve more peer review, mentoring, and networking opportunities. When teachers feel valued, they are more likely to stick around; better educator retention numbers may depend on how well educational leaders utilize veteran teachers as a support system for newer professionals.

All of these trends have an influence on how the classrooms of tomorrow will operate. How will you work to make school rewarding for every student? Getting your Master of Science in Educational Administration online may be the best way to practice these ideas in your classroom. 

Learn more about Emporia State University's Master of Science in Educational Administration online program.


TIME: You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

Education Week: Learning by Doing: The Case for Experiential Education

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