The pandemic made it clear that education must innovate and evolve to meet the diverse needs of students. Sora Schools, an online, project-based middle school and high school, along with a wide network of innovators and education experts, collaborated to round up what are the biggest forces shaping education in 2023. 

Sora launched a new research and analytics group, the Sora Learning Lab, to uncover important insights from parents, students and educators, and to help influence the future of school in a positive way.

As a result of its research, Sora identified eight key trends in education today.

  • Schools are finally being called to task on students’ mental health.
  • AI is completely rattling traditional school and reframing curricular opportunities.
  • Families are embracing alternative school options like never before.
  • Creative thinking (not technical skills) will be the future’s most valuable ability.
  • Teachers are facing an identity shift – from teaching to “coaching”.
  • Gaming is now and will continue to be integral in education.
  • Grading is entirely outdated, with mastery-based assessments taking center-stage.
  • Online education is providing students with access to world-class private school education – at affordable prices.

Mental Health

  • The Sora study found that 74% of parents are concerned their school is not doing enough to support student mental health.
    • There is an ongoing mental health crisis in the US currently, but schools are ill-equipped to handle students in crisis.
    • At Sora, a student’s purpose and meaning are at the center of their curriculum, giving the student ownership over what they are learning. When students are passionate about their school experience it enhances their well-being.
    • Sora advisors are equipped with a toolset to help them identify and address when a student needs support.

AI Will Transform Education

  • Parents want schools to embrace new technology and cultural shifts. The Sora Learning Lab study found that up to 90% of parents believe at least one or more aspect of traditional schools are outdated.
    • With the introduction of powerful and accessible new artificial intelligence tools, a profound societal impact is on the horizon, similar in scale to the introduction of the calculator or the world wide web.
    • At Sora, instead of fighting against technology, the focus is on creating curricula that respect student interest. This is curricula that students WANT to do themselves for the sake of understanding more about the world.
    • When students are engaged in their learning and not just focused on getting an A, they will be persuaded to do the work themselves and not rely on AI.
    • It is clear that the traditional school model needs to be adapted and innovated.
Laura Ascione
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