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As the education world continues to rapidly evolve, high-tech approaches to education, as well as views around how to engage with education, are changing the way both students and teachers interact with learning opportunities.

If you ask different educators what their top trends are in the education space, you may get different answers, depending on their own education sector background and passions.

EducationDaily is not claiming this as a definitive list but with some of these six global education trends already being seen in Australian schools and universities (and others probably not far away) it’s interesting to imagine how the space will continue to adapt and be enhanced in the last half of this school year.

1. Online learning rules, OK?

With some schools across Australia now offering online-specific education as an alternative to their traditional face-to-face model, as well as the launch of new, dedicated online institutions to cater for K-12 education and beyond, it’s clear that online learning is here to stay.

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2. The emerging science of neuroeducation

The emerging field of educational neuroscience shines a light on what is most effective when it comes to learning new skills and concepts. And what is being revealed is that many existing mainstream education sector practices are not actually supported by quality research.

Some common teaching methods that are coming under scrutiny include:

  • Memorisation-based testing
  • Unguided homework
  • One-size-fits-all lessons

Neuroeducation is where teaching approaches are supported by neuroscience principles to deal with timeless challenges, such as maintaining students’ attention, as well as encouraging critical thinking.

If  reading this has motivated you to apply some Google-led research on the topic, you’re not alone. In the past decade, online searches for ‘neuroeducation’ have increased by 837%.

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At its heart is the recognition that personalising the learning process for each student is important – although in many schools across Australia suffering the impact of the teacher shortage, this approach may be a wish, rather than a viable reality.

Using artificial intelligence to cater lessons to each student’s learning needs is another option.

3. Micro-learning takes big leaps

Despite a long history of cramming for exams, the reality is that there is a limit to how much information can be retained from a single learning session. And when the subject matter is not covered later, it’s even more challenging – especially when many students lack the skills needed to study on their own effectively.

But traditional education still favours the overload of long lectures in the tertiary and secondary systems – as well as the expectation that students will remember everything they just heard and read.

The alternative, many educational specialists believe, is micro-learning.

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Put simply, it’s a form of spaced repetition learning. Bite-sized chunks of lessons are delivered and repeated over time and, according to proponents of the emerging micro-learning trend, these short bursts of learning can make a sustainable difference to knowledge retention.

4. The rise (and rise) of niche education platforms

If you’ve ever explored the popular MasterClass platform to see what it’s like to learn from leaders in their fields (think film directing with Martin Scorcese or writing novels with David Mamet or Judy Blume), you’ll know the power of a star power lecturer.

But as fun and interesting as the platform’s classes are, they lack the advanced tuition and qualifications that true professionals need to advance in their chosen field.

Niche education platforms have stepped into that space. One international example is Cybrary, which delivers courses for people in IT.

Hack The Box is another example and offers training solutions for cybersecurity professionals by using gamification techniques and a global leaderboard.

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5. Rising parent engagement

In this changing educational environment, parental engagement is reaching new levels.

It’s a trend putting more demands on already overworked teachers, with statistics pointing to around 60 per cent of parents expecting weekly communication with schools, and one in 14 parents taking it even further, with an expectation of some form of daily communication (call, text updates, email or a classroom blog).

6. The wellbeing focus

Parental demands for schools to offer greater focus on supporting student wellbeing is another change that continues to evolve.

It’s being driven by Gen Y parents, closely followed by parents from the Gen X cohort.

But with the growing view from many parents what schools should apply a holistic focus in wellbeing management, the big question yet to be properly understood is: to what extent?