It’s hard to believe, but 2023 is in the rear-view mirror. Now it’s time to look ahead to the new year. What will be the trends in K-12 education in 2024? How will education companies leverage emerging technology to help educators solve pervasive challenges?
Here are six trends to watch in 2024:
- Artificial intelligence (AI). While AI may, in fact, have been invented in the 1950s, 2023’s debut of ChatGPT and the other technologies that followed have made it the “next big thing” in education and beyond. Some in education are still grappling with how to handle the ethical issues surrounding AI. Many companies are also harnessing its power to enhance the ways that their products, programs, and services can support students and teachers. Don’t expect this trend to slow down in 2024.
- High–dosage tutoring. As schools continue to strive to ensure that all learners are on the path to success, high-dosage tutoring has emerged as an effective, if a bit expensive, strategy. High-dosage tutoring is defined as one-on-one tutoring or tutoring in very small groups at least three times a week. According to the National Student Support Accelerator at Stanford University, a review of almost 200 studies found that high-dosage tutoring is one of the few school-based interventions with demonstrated large, positive effects on both math and reading.1
- Focus on student mental health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 42% of high school students in 2021 reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two consecutive weeks in the past year and stopped engaging in their usual activities. This is an increase of 26% over 2009. Thoughts of suicide, attempts at suicide, and actual suicides among teens have also risen.2 Schools have turned to social emotional learning and other strategies to help students cope with today’s increasing stressors, including the rise in bullying brought on by the proliferation of social media. Watch for an increase in other interventions, such as telehealth therapy, in the new year.
- Gamification. Game-based learning activities in both instruction and assessment help to engage and motivate students. Gamification is shown to help students focus more on the task at hand. They retain information better, build critical-thinking skills, and become active learners. K-12 ed-tech programs and assessments are likely to integrate more gamification in 2024. In fact, gamification is expected to grow by an average of 28% every year between now and 2030.3
- No détente in the reading and math wars. The debate over the best ways to teach reading and now math as well is not going anywhere in 2024. More and more states are adopting laws codifying the science of reading. And researchers are continuing to delve into the best strategies for developing successful mathematical thinkers. As a result, the education industry will also evolve its products over the next year to meet these new and changing approaches.
- Career and technical education. Increased focus—and investment—in creating paths for students to be prepared for careers beyond high school will continue to grow in 2024. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, total undergraduate enrollment is down by more than 1 million students since 2019. A recent survey of high school seniors revealed that 20% will not enroll in college right after high school because they believe it’s not worth the cost.4 With student loan debt burgeoning at $1.77 trillion in the last quarter of 2023,5 the pressure on high schools to prepare students for successful careers is likely to only grow in 2024.
Of course, this is just a jumping-off point for 2024. We all know—especially after the events of the past few years—that it is hard to predict what twists and turns the new year might take. Stay in touch with us and we will keep you apprised of surprising trends and hot topics in 2024.