K12 Education Trends and Predictions to Look Out for in 2024

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Education is evolving at a fast pace. From conventional learning to online education and hybrid models, adopting a transformative and flexible approach to education has changed the paradigms of the education ecosystem. The new approach has opened a plethora of opportunities. It has made education accessible to all, irrespective of time, age and location. People across the globe have access to qualitative learning courses that can help them achieve their academic goals and reskill to stay relevant in a dynamic world. Reforms in policies like NEP 2023 have escalated tech integration in education. In 2023, we witnessed a push in online learning and a growing awareness among the education industry of the potential of tech integration that can bridge gaps. From AI-powered personalisation to vernacular learning, the sector grew exponentially.

Here are some of the key education trends and predictions that will set the pace for 2024.

Deeper Involvement of Family

Fostering more meaningful relationships with families to support students’ success and well-being will be imperative in 2024. Parental involvement has a positive impact on student achievement, social-emotional learning and academic rates. Knowing this can motivate parents to get involved deeper in their child’s education and stay in the loop with the education institutions to seek deeper engagement. Moving beyond traditional activities, online platforms can be of great help in creating space for school-parent involvement, staying in touch with teachers, monitoring students’ progress, and participating in activities. Absenteeism among students can be improved by using two-way communication with families and understanding the reason behind students’ absences. This is especially helpful in times of online and hybrid learning mediums, where it’s easier for students to skip classes and cover up the syllabus due to the flexibility of instruction. However, it may negatively impact soft skill development and the overall well-being of students.

Russ Davis, SchoolStatus Founder and CEO, says, “In 2024, developing more meaningful school-home relationships and partnering with families to support better student outcomes will be crucial. Currently, more than 25% of K-12 students are chronically absent and most students have ground to make up in math and reading. At the same time, there’s a gap between how parents and caregivers think their children are doing and the reality. Many families aren’t aware if their child is behind academically or may not understand how absenteeism is impacting their child’s progress. We will see more districts leveraging real-time data so families can understand more than just what their child’s grades are. School-home communications will focus on driving meaningful results, promoting student success, and engaging all families. Meaningful connections with families encourage engagement that supports better student outcomes.”

Adding to the prediction, Grace Spencer, VP of marketing and product development at SchoolStatus, says, “In 2024, schools will prioritise proactive communication with parents and guardians about the importance of attendance. Educators will engage families through proactive communication about the importance of attendance—before students become chronically absent. We will also see more educators reaching out to families to enhance connections and build partnerships. With this information, personalised interventions will be designed to address specific challenges that students may face in maintaining regular attendance. Collaboration between families and schools will play a crucial role in addressing the unique needs of each student, considering factors such as health, transportation, and socio-economic conditions.

Holistic Education with a Focus on Students’ Overall Well Being

Holistic education is a rising trend in 2024. Living in a dynamic environment, it is essential that the education system nurtures well-rounded individuals who are not only academically successful but also possess soft skills like interpersonal skills, leadership, time management, teamwork, problem-solving and more. Holistic education acknowledges the interconnectedness of different vital aspects of human beings, such as how improved emotional well-being can reduce stress and help one build stronger social connections. Additionally, it also acknowledges how this process plays a significant role in leading to better academic performance and engagement in learning. Since the focus of holistic education is on stress management, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness, it promotes developing healthy coping mechanisms and resilience in the face of life’s obstacles.

Dr. Kara Stern, SchoolStatus Head of Education Solutions, says, “In 2024, schools will focus on partnering with families to support the whole student. Communication between schools and K-12 families will shift from focusing heavily on grades and test scores to providing more consistent, well-rounded updates on a student’s overall well-being. This could include emotional health, progress in soft skills development, and feedback on social interactions. This change is driven by the need for a comprehensive understanding of student well-being in a post-pandemic world, acknowledgement of the impact of isolation and stress on a student, as well as the growing demand for holistic education.

Ms Lina Ashar, a renowned educationist with an experience for over three decades in the field of education and the Founder of Dreamtime Learning, shares, “Considering the breakthrough we received with the latest amendment in National Education Policy 2023 (NEP-2023), which addresses the evolving needs of the education sector, promote a more holistic and flexible approach to learning, and enhances the overall quality of education. Significant developments include restructuring the school education system to a 5+3+3+4 structure, integrating early childhood care and education (ECCE) into the mainstream education system, and emphasising online learning. Acknowledging the importance of gamification and experiential learning for young children and promoting a multidisciplinary approach and curriculum to focus on essential learning outcomes, critical thinking, and the importance of multilingualism. The year ahead seems promising, and it’d focus on the holistic development of the children, keeping all elements in consideration.”

Increased Data Usage

Education in 2024 is going to have a data-driven approach. Data-driven learning is one of the top learning trends for 2024. Edtech platforms are already generating vast amounts of data and putting it to use to create learning trajectories that can benefit students in every possible way. The trend will offer a more personalised and engaging learning experience for students, customised to their individual learning needs, addressing gaps and experience and helping them become the best version of themselves.

Mr. Ashutosh Burnwal, Founder & CEO of Buddy4Study, says, “The government’s commitment to digital learning initiatives, coupled with rising private investments, paints a promising picture for 2024. We can expect to see deeper integration of AI and data analytics, personalising the learning experience for every student. Furthermore, collaborations between edtech platforms, government bodies, and NGOs hold immense potential in revolutionising rural education and bridging the urban-rural divide. By addressing existing challenges and capitalising on emerging opportunities, 2024 can be a year of transformative change for education technology in India, ensuring that every child, regardless of background, has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Adding to the insights, Dr Joy Smithson, SchoolStatus Data Scientist, says, “Teachers can use data to track student recovery, in addition to their supplemental learning needs, high dose tutoring needs, SEL, and much more. Data can help in understanding more insights than whether a student passes a class or submits an assignment. It can be used to understand the complexities of each student—from their social-emotional state and comprehension of specific subjects to their involvement in extracurricular activities. Having this data provides a more accurate picture and can be used by educators to support all students and their unique needs.”

Personalised Learning

Personalised learning will rise in 2024. Artificial intelligence tools and advanced algorithms will be used to create a thorough, personalised learning experience for students. Apart from creating individualised learning programs, AI will be coerced into tailoring course contents as per students’ needs. In the realm of online learning, platforms offering personalised adaptive learning will be gaining traction. In 2024, we will see the personal touch in education, all through Artificial Intelligence.

Reflecting on the remarkable strides witnessed in the education and edtech sector over the year, Mr. Vinay Singh, Executive Director and CEO of Q&I and Thomson Digital, shares, “The year 2023 stands as a testament to the profound integration of cutting-edge technologies into education, focusing on personalised and immersive learning experiences.” Looking ahead to 2024, Vinay Singh envisions an unwavering commitment to personalised learning driven by data-driven insights and collaborative platforms. He anticipates an era where edtech not only matches but surpasses traditional teaching methodologies. He adds, “The forthcoming year is about refinement – refining our strategies, leveraging data for educational precision, and nurturing a culture of continual learning, offering a glimpse into the transformative journey that lies ahead for the education and edtech industry.

Artificial Intelligence

As remote learning expands and technology makes education accessible across the globe, the growing number of live digital classes in big classrooms and online activities has led to an increased workload among educators and school administrators. In the education industry, we will witness manual administrative tasks like activity monitoring and attendance tracking being replaced by artificial intelligence solutions in the year ahead. As a result, teachers can focus more on facilitating students with the required attention. Another crucial element is the rise of chatbots. We will witness restricted chatbots for students stepping in as study companions.

Mr Dinesh Kumar Poobalan, CEO & CTO of Greatify, shares, “As the conversation shifts from ‘How can AI improve education?’ to ‘How can we ensure ethical and responsible use of AI in the educational context?’, The implementation of AI for exam evaluation and personalised learning will innovate education. The collaborative spirit, technological advancements, and commitment to inclusivity define the education narrative in this transformative year ahead.”

Continuous Upskilling and Reskilling

Continuous upskilling and reskilling are the necessities to stay relevant in the dynamic environment that we are living in. Skilling is an indispensable part of life, and it’s going to catch momentum in 2024. The job space is changing rapidly, and to stay relevant and thrive in the job market, it’s essential that working professionals and freshers are equipped with the necessary skills. Artificial Intelligence, digitisation, Automation and other advanced technologies are transforming industries at an unprecedented pace. Skills of today will become obsolete in some time; hence, continuous learning is essential to stay relevant.

Dr (Prof.) Varinder Kanwar, CEO, National Accreditation Board for Education and Training, shares, “Upon contemplating the advancements achieved in the field of education in 2023, we see a future in which creativity and flexibility will persistently influence the nature of education. As technology advances at an ever-accelerating rate with AI intervention, lifelong learning will become increasingly important in education. Retraining and upskilling on a constant basis will be necessary to remain employable in a labour market that is constantly changing. Institutions and business partners will work together to create programs that are flexible and adaptable. Continuous upskilling and reskilling will be integral to staying relevant in an ever-evolving job market. Institutions will collaborate with industries to develop agile and responsive programs that align with the demands of the workforce.

Facilitating learning versus teaching

As technology takes a center seat in the classroom, the role of educators has been redefined. How teachers relate to their students has changed with the tech at hand. Students today have quick and easy access to information, and AI tools are there to help navigate educational challenges. In this dynamic environment, teachers have stepped into the role of facilitator. Their job is transforming to a role where they help students understand how to learn, how to enjoy their academic experiences and how to uncover the information they find with all the ethics in place. This calls for soft skill development among educators. Skills like leadership, problem-solving, and emotional learning will be of great benefit in developing healthy relations with students. They must learn how to create a safe space where students can approach them about their problems and collaborate with their teachers and peers.

The education landscape is set for exciting transformations in 2024. From AI integration and deeper family involvement, we are heading to witness a culture of holistic student development and data-driven education experiences. The aforementioned trends are a stepping stone to creating an inclusive and engaging learning environment for students that’ll equip them with the key skills required to thrive in the times we are heading to.

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