Education’s Most Trending Topics in 2021

We’ve been sharing the year’s biggest edtech developments based on educator feedback on regular basis. The subjects themselves may not vary significantly, but the attitude to them changes. But 2020 was a unique year, so new subjects were added and others were elevated. Digital citizenship, professional development, and social-emotional learning all made the list, but their importance increased when schools went online. New subjects included e-sports, online learning design, and creativity(Diana, 2018).

Digital Citizenship Education

Digital Citizenship is the development of children’s skills for learning and active engagement in a digital society. A user has to know this to exercise and defend democratic rights and duties online and to promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. So that people who are not “digital natives” or have no opportunity to become “digital citizens” (digizens) are not marginalized in future society. With the advent of low-cost technology, the “digital divide” is more likely to be a talent gap than a lack of access to technology. Many schools now provide “Digital Citizenship Education” to help students learn about the legal consequences of their internet activities. Digital citizenship is a new layer of citizenship education that teaches students to work, live, and contribute positively in digital settings(Digital Citizenship and Digital Citizenship Education, n.d.).

E-learning design

Educators have struggled to successfully transfer courses intended for an in-person classroom online. In spring 2020, many instructors had to make the change in less than a week, and in some instances, less than a day. Many quickly realized that merely uploading worksheets to Google Classroom does not guarantee the same learning results. It’s not the same as excellent online teaching, according to Michele Eaton, author of The Perfect Blend: A Practical Guide to Designing Student-Centered Learning.”I am certain that if we just duplicate what we do in person, online learning will be a cheap imitation of the classroom experience.” MS. Eaton describes how educators may create engaging online courses, decrease cognitive load, and include formative evaluations.

Inclusion and equity are two important concepts.

The COVID-19 epidemic revealed numerous lengthy educational inequalities. It also produced some. When the school became online, many young children and students with impairments couldn’t access it because their parents were working. Many rural and low-income students lacked gadgets and bandwidth. Most districts were able to obtain money for student hotspots and laptops or tablets, but these options were not always optimal. Hotspots were sometimes unstable and gadgets were broken. As a result of these and other issues, several instructors reported a high number of absentee children(Diana, 2018).

Social-emotional learning

Educators have a unique role to play in both providing information and assisting students in their personal development. When there is a shared frame of reference or starting point for working toward a common goal, this movement is most effective. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal skills, and responsible decision-making are among the five competencies of social-emotional learning (SEL), according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Educators use these SEL skills to help children understand their surroundings and grow as students and people. Without a culturally appropriate beginning, SEL will not be possible. We must try to figure out what we’re talking about(Howard, 2019).

Teacher professional development

Any kind of educator continuing education effort is referred to as educator professional development. It’s one method for instructors to enhance their abilities and, as a result, help students get better results. In both formal and informal contexts, learning may take place. Conferencing, courses, seminars, retreats, and workshops all fall under the category of formal settings. Independent study or inquiry, peer learning programs, or just talking with a coworker in the staff room are all examples of informal possibilities for teacher professional development. Teachers get professional development on a variety of levels, including district-wide, within a school, and even in the classroom or individually(Kampen, 2019).

Esports for teachers

In the last decade, esports — or competitive video gaming — has grown as a form of entertainment, and it’s now making its way into schools, organizations, and after-school activities. Many instructors are turning to esports as a means to reach out to hard-to-reach kids who aren’t interested in athletics or academics. According to surveys, 40% of kids who engage in esports have never participated in school activities. Esports, according to Brown, has exploded in popularity in recent years. With 25 clubs and 38 teams, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation began as a regional program in Southern California. It has expanded to over 1,000 groups and 11,000 students in North America in only a few years.

Many instructors incorrectly assume that if they aren’t gamers, they won’t be able to include esports in their curriculum or start a club. True, says Joe McAllister, a CDW education esports specialist who assists schools and districts in launching programs.

Augmented And Virtual Reality in Education

Traditional teaching methods are being challenged in schools and universities. In student learning and development, virtual and augmented reality will fundamentally transform the way instructors teach and students learn. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the education sector. The trend, on the other hand, hasn’t altered in a long time. PowerPoint is still the go-to tool in the education sector.

Students will study interactively like never before thanks to AR and VR. These new technologies are not restricted to pupils of a certain age range. It may not be present in every school or institution now, but it will be in the future years. The Augmented Reality app development industry is expected to reach $660 million by the end of 2018, according to New Jersey Institute of Technology estimates(Rawal, 2018).


PBL is a student-centered pedagogy that includes a dynamic classroom method in which students are supposed to gain a better understanding via active investigation of real-world difficulties and problems. Students learn about a topic through investigating and responding to a difficult issue, challenge, or problem over a prolonged period. It is a kind of inquiry-based learning and active learning. Instead of presenting known information or portraying a smooth route to knowledge, PBL poses questions, dilemmas, or situations, which contrasts with paper-based, rote memorization or teacher-led education that provides facts or shows a smooth path to knowledge(Bender, n.d.).


Bender, W. N. (n.d.). Project-based learning : differentiating instruction for the 21st century. 198.

Diana, F. (2018). ISTE | The 9 hottest topics in tech. Iste.

Digital Citizenship and Digital Citizenship Education. (n.d.). Retrieved August 4, 2021, from

Howard, D. C. (2019). Social-emotional learning won’t happen without a culturally relevant start. Education Week. cannot take place without, new social skills and behaviors.

Kampen, M. (2019). 5 Ways To Make Teacher Professional Development Effective. Prodify.

Rawal, K. (2018). Augmented And Virtual Reality In Education: The Next Big Bandwagons. E-Learning Industry.

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