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A Sneak Peek Into 2016 Educational Trends

Updated on August 5, 2016

Sneak Peeks & Teasers

Sneak peeks have revolutionized the movie industry. Before a film even debuts, producers can predict how well it will do at the box office by the number of views online. I have to admit trailers can be pretty convincing, especially those with plenty of action and minor details on the plot.

With each new school year come new developments, changes, and amendments. Parents check for effective changes, students look for improved classroom experiences, educators want to know how it all affects teaching. Although the cost would be something to consider, wouldn't it be great if schools posted sneak previews to promote the school year? Just a thought ...

2016 brings some interesting changes, some still being considered, to the educational platform of learning. Most importantly, schools implement new ideas to provide all stakeholders better methods of communication while providing quality education.

Social & Physical Well-being: Recess!

Free play breaks allow children to interact socially while lessening the stress of daily learning.
Free play breaks allow children to interact socially while lessening the stress of daily learning. | Source

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Is recess important to a child's well being during a school day?

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Recess: It's Not Just Play

If you ask a child to name their favorite school subject you will most likely hear "recess". That always gets a chuckle from adults, but to a child -- it's probably the truth. I remember recess as being an important part of my school schedule as a child. It was the only time of day I could get away from the pressure of learning and just talk to my friends.

The Center on Education Policy reported a 44% cut in recess, among other school studies, in 2007 to allocate more time for language arts and math. This move proposed student focus on higher learning would result in better test scores. However, the inclination to succeed academically, at the cost of less "play", decreased student focus during the latter part of the day.

Educators now realize how essential a break during the day is to the well being of a child. Recess allows adolescents to rest their brain and interact socially with peers. Better yet, movement through play diminishes stress, clearing the mind for cognitive performance in the classroom.

The concern of child safety and lack of proper supervision during recess influenced school districts to eliminate or lessen the break time in the past. Today parental concerns with the No Child Left Behind Act tendency to push excessive testing and lengthening school days is reaching the ears of administrators. Principals argue it is impossible to allot time for recess, deeming the students already have physical education in the curriculum.

At this time only a handful of states require mandatory recess or physical activity breaks, Florida and Tennessee to mention a couple. There is much discussion in the higher courts to amend this mode of thought on recess during the school day for this year and beyond. We shall see how it all plays out.

Classroom Project Management

Viewing lectures at home allows students to devote class time to projects and meaningful discussions.
Viewing lectures at home allows students to devote class time to projects and meaningful discussions. | Source

The Flipped Classroom

The term flipped classroom is defined as a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. (Educause Learning, 2012). The concept of a flipped classroom was introduced about eight years ago. 2016 will see some changes for those institutions preferring this method of instruction. The strategy for success depends upon the use of technology, enabling sharing and easier access to assignments.

  • Forums/Discussions: Teachers share resources, document, and discuss classroom strategy with colleagues online at their convenience. This method of communication frees them to use their time more efficiently within the classroom.

  • Video: As students view videos at home, technology advancements allow them to ask questions and provide feedback at certain points. Teachers can use this information to pinpoint any problems needing additional instruction or clarification.

  • Lab Time: Preparing for labs before and after classes takes from valuable teaching instruction in the classroom. Educational tools within the home environment will allow students to perform their work at their convenience. Provided with online videos, students can view the experiment, pause, rewind to better understand the process. Scholars then report to school with their data for analyzing and interpretation by the instructor.

Again, these unique concepts may take time to perfect. However, one can see the benefit of more classroom instruction time to review and reinforce student learning.

Keeping Up With Assignments

When missing school is unavoidable, students can communicate with teachers and keep up with assignments using mobile apps.
When missing school is unavoidable, students can communicate with teachers and keep up with assignments using mobile apps. | Source

Communicating with Mobile Apps

Technology in the classroom is becoming the norm for many instructors, extending the learning beyond the classroom requires inventive methods of instruction. Mobile apps have changed the way teachers, parents, and students communicate.

Nearly 33% of students today have access to some type of mobile device in the classroom. Not every teacher agrees with the use of technology for instruction, concerns about cheating and distractions are definite problems. Instructors who embrace it will increase student engagement and foster social interaction.

The greatest value is the ability to communicate -- for teachers, parents, and students. Using mobile apps fosters:

  • Presentations, forums, debates
  • Research
  • Note Taking
  • Checking grades, tracking achievements/accomplishments
  • Parent-Teacher communication
  • Student collaboration

Mobile apps can enhance the learning process without taking from basic classroom instruction. Creating a mobile space where education is blended with technology will only increase student performance and retain interest in education. I have listed below some apps currently used in classrooms and proven successful with teachers and students.

Mobile App
Access/post presentations, assignments, photos, videos. Create/edit MS office files on mobile, share file links with students.
Save articles, videos, web content; saved articles viewed online while presenting.
Teachers provide feedback, comment on student behavior; can send parents public/private messages on child progress. Parents can view child's feedback in real time.
Share info/course assignments with class/individual. Provides tools to annotate and grade assignments before digitally returning them. Upload items from camera roll/provide audio and video feedback. Classroom discussions and chats are a bonus.
Teachers/students can share content and use app as a conduit for new information and notifications, submit assignments, receive grades. Teachers can post messages, quizzes, polls while providing access to relevant resources and calendars.
Creative Writing Prompts
Aids teachers/students with starting lines and unique prompts to improve writing process. Allows sharing and saving of work via Social Media. Daily reminders posted for motivation/encouragement.
Teacher's Assistant Pro
Classroom management notes. Teachers record behavior on students; offers quick look-up method for noting behavior. Teachers can email specific incidents directly within apps main interface.

What Can The Next President Do For Education?

© 2016 Dianna Mendez


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    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Christy, recess is so important for children. I hope more schools return to adding this to the school day. Thanks for your thoughts on this post. I value your opinion.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Cyndi, when I teach, I like to take the class outside for the duration. There is something about the fresh air that encourages collaboration and attention to learning. Glad you got something out of the post.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      How sad to read that recess is being limited... I remember it being a great way to interact with other kids, get exercise, and relieve my brain from the studying done beforehand. Thanks for this look into the education system!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      2 years ago from Western NC

      So interesting! Yes...I've been wondering about the flipped classroom concept. I've heard some rave about it and others aren't so sure...just like everything else, right? :P

      As for recess, after working in a school that DIDN'T use technology until middle school, emphasizing outdoor play, I can say that I'm a huge proponent of recess now. I have seen it firsthand: kids have to use their imaginations, they chat with each other, build relationships, and increase their interpersonal, problem-solving and social skills. I've even heard that some schools in Europe have the students outside - no matter the weather - for hours a day. It's all quite interesting.

      Thanks for these highlights!

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Heidi, your teachers were on top of those rainy day recess breaks. I would have enjoyed a movie back then. I am chuckling at your Jetsons remark, so true! Thanks for the input and support.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 years ago from Chicago Area

      I used to like recess, too... but only on rainy days. I know that sounds weird, but it was a great time for reading, games or something other than school work. The teachers would also show short educational movies for indoor recess. Guess they were ahead of their time with the multi-media!

      Wonder how we would have used all the tech toys and tools if they had been available when we were kids. That was "Jetsons" type stuff back then. :)

      Good summary of what's going on in education. Sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Avian, some schools do not allow or do not have funds for technology. However, some schools, with funding or through donations, will provide it for certain subjects. Others, allow students to bring their own and have loaners available as needed. Great question!

      Depending upon the teacher and the subject, technology can engage students actively so that they learn through appropriate usage. I prefer to use it as needed for learning, as it does take monitoring.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Learning has to respond to the times, but I do have questions. Most notably, if parents cannot afford a computer/internet, who pays for it? Does the school have a loaner program? I'm sure not all students have a smartphone, either. I obviously see the benefits, but isn't the workload heavier for the teacher?

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      ChitarnagadaSharan, I can't imagine being able to focus on classwork without recess or some type of break. Thanks for your valuable comment.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      There were no computers when I was in school. At least no home computers anyway. Shoot, we didn't even use calculators back then! Even when my son was in school, the only computers available were in the library. They were allowed to have calculators in class. I never agreed with that practice. I'm a firm believer in knowing how to calculate math using your brain and a pencil.

      I also think recess is essential. Even those of us in the work force get breaks away from our desks and tasks at hand. Our brains need periodic breaks or we go into overload.

      I'm glad I'm not raising a school-age child in today's environment. Growing up with the old school ways (remember the three R's?) don't set me up to be much help in today's electronic classroom.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      A very important hub for everyone involved with education , for parents and teachers. Again I believe that children should get small breaks during their classes. Physical activity in natural surroundings recharges them and they learn better.

      Interesting article and thanks for sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      AliciaC, the fresh air alone is a great way to minimize stress and rejuvenate the mind for learning. My hopes are that more schools will reestablish play breaks into the curriculum. It is so much a part of creating a well rounded child.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Flourish, oh yes, kids are experts at finding loopholes when it comes to technology and school work. I do admire their ability to think beyond the box, but it does present problems when it comes to instruction and integrity. I do know of a few schools that utilize Chrromebook in classrooms, some with success and some without. We will see how this all develops over the next few years.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub, Dianna. Teachers have a lot to think about these days. I teach in a high school, but there's also an elementary school on the same grounds. Whenever I supervise the elementary students during their morning recess I love to see how much fun they're having. Most of the fun involves running around the field, though some students like to sit and talk. Recess is an important break for the students. They need the time outside.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      My daughter's school system used Edmodo but didn't fully exploit its capabilities before switching to another platform and poorly executing an initiative in which every child gets a Chromebook. The catch, however, is that it's basically Google docs. They can't really surf the Internet or truly collaborate. So the smart techie kids learned (or taught themselves) how to get around some huge loopholes and developed workarounds that no one saw coming.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      MsDora, you can download these apps on your phone and explore the features. You will be one savvy grandmother! Educators should apply learning curriculum that balances academic work with play breaks, even for high school students. I remember when my son attended school in Virginia the high school had an afternoon ice cream break about 1:30 pm. It was a refreshing break for the mind.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Paul, if monitored and supported, these trends work well enough. As you mentioned, not all students are capable of independent study and teachers need to buy into the value of administering these concepts. Recess is a much needed part of every day school for children, but I am probably in the minority on this topic among educators. Thanks for your add to this topic -- and, I deeply appreciate you sharing with others.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I'd like to go back to school to learn the mobile apps. It would help communication with the grandchildren.

      Will recess at school mean more school time at home (flipped classroom)? Hope they decide on what's best for the children, and not what's easier for the teacher. May wise judgment prevail!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      2 years ago from Dubai

      Today there are so many new technologies that make education a whole new fun experience. The educational apps are great and help the students to access a vast range of learning sources. Thank you for sharing this in depth and detailed look into the educational trends of today.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for sharing these educational trends. Although I have been away from teaching in Thailand for a little over two years now, I remember the concept of the Flipped ClaSSROOM as it was discussed by school administration in 2013. The school never adopted it because our EFL young learners weren't mature and responsible enough to view lectures at home on computers. There is a need for recess. I always had a morning break of 15 minutes when I went to grade school in the 50s, and my Thai students always had a morning and afternoon recess. AS to use of mobile apps in classrooms, you have to have students who are mature and responsible enough to use it. This is a great hub which I am sharing with HP followers and on Facebook.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Hi Suzette. I agree the flipped classroom works well for class rooms, promoting creative and critical thinking skills. It is all a step forward in education.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Hey, Larry! There has to be a good balance between teaching and unstructured play for success. Lets hope they come to this conclusion up in Washington.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      It is a different world today with the technology enhancements, let alone the push to meet common core standards. Many teachers are having to rethink their methods of instruction. Enjoy your freedom, Bill, you earned it

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very interesting article. I think recess is very important to the student's all around success. I like the flipped classroom concept. It would leave valuable classroom time for applying what the student knows. I value this as more important than homework. Everything you write about here will enhance education in the US.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      One of the most disturbing trends in education, to me, is the more is better concept. More time in class, less breaks, etc. That was never the key to getting kids to learn. The key is quality teaching time, and often that involves backing off and taking your time.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting, Dee, and thanks for sharing. Quite honestly, I think I got out at just the right time. I'm a dinosaur and there's no place for me in today's classroom. And I'm fine with that.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Jackie, the old days were less complicated and I too would love to go back in time and capture the essence of what teaching promoted. Technology, if used as an effective learning tool, engages the student and makes learning meaningful. Glad you added to the topic interest on this note.

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Eric, technology is a must in some schools, such as your child's. I think it will be the norm as the years pass. Educators are relying more on technology to enhance classes. I wish you the best as you make choices on spending for your school community.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Many times I have wished I had tried my hand at teaching and I must admit the bankers hours and holidays had something to do with it although I know you take work home and summers are many times filled with re-educating. Technology in classrooms today though would be something else. I think I would prefer the old days...but life does not stand still for any of us. Very interesting.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great article. As a parent we are grappling with issues involved here. We have already checked with the district IT people and will get our child engaged with and competent with the products they will use.

      As a Site Council Chairman we are revving up for priorities in our spending. We have choices to make, and I hope we make good ones.

      MORE RECESS not less

    • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      Even though it has been some time Nell, you hit the nail on the head. I am one that believes extended learning and elimination of recess is not a balanced schedule for any student. Even high school students need more than a 20 minutes lunch break. Take care and stay safe.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Dianna, its a long time since I was at school, so a lot of this went over my head, lol! but I do agree with you about 'play time' or break as we call it over here. and I have noticed that they have cut the recess time quite a lot. when I was at school we had over an hour for lunch and break, and school was between 9 am and 3 45. now they come home at 3, and lose the break. not sure if it has an adverse reaction on the kids or not. interesting stuff, nell


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