As teachers, students and families celebrate summer vacation, many educators are already looking ahead to what’s on the horizon for back-to-school season, and how they can take their students’ learning to the next level in the coming school year. 

To find out how educators are reimagining learning, we surveyed nearly 8,000 K-12 and higher ed educators across the U.S. this May. We took a closer look at the challenges educators and students are facing, what teachers say is working and how educators are putting students at the center of the learning experience. 

Read on to dig into the survey’s key findings, or explore them all in our survey infographic.

Student engagement not back to pre-pandemic levels in most classes

Students around the world have experienced unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic. Now, even with most schools returning to fully in-person learning, many educators are reporting that their students continue to struggle with the impacts of the last two years. 

Approximately 6 in 10 teachers we surveyed said that their students have struggled with feeling a lack of control and are now less engaged and motivated in class than before the pandemic. However, many educators are also shedding light on what we can learn from these past two years in education and how we can rethink the learning experience to support students in even more effective and meaningful ways.

Choice and active involvement are key to engagement, focus and knowledge retention

To meet current challenges and supercharge learning, many educators are seeing the potential of a more student-centered approach, where students are empowered to choose what and how to study. In this way of learning, students may pick from a menu of learning content or activities, allowing them to follow their own interests, learn in a way that resonates with them and discover their own sense of purpose in the learning. 

In our survey, 7 in 10 educators said that their students are more focused during lessons when they are actively involved in the learning experience. The same number reported that students are more engaged when they can explore a variety of learning content or experiences and choose what they’re interested in, and that students are more likely to remember what they learn during activities they choose themselves. Educators also cited a variety of skills students develop when more actively involved in learning, including critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and more.

Technology powers student-centered learning through play

More classrooms worldwide are taking advantage of educational technology than ever before. While many schools and classrooms have adopted new digital learning tools to keep students connected, streamline processes and save time, educators are also highlighting how technology is helping them innovate learning.  

Approximately 3 in 4 educators we surveyed said technology has been an important tool for making learning more active and student-centered, primarily by enabling students to learn through play.  3 in 4 educators also agreed that their students are more engaged when play is involved in the learning experience. Together, these findings point to play-based learning technology continuing to be an important element in shaping the future of learning.

Bring playful, powerful learning to the classroom this back-to-school season with Kahoot!

If boosting student engagement, motivation and joy are among your goals for the upcoming school year, Kahoot! is offering a wide variety of resources to help you make learning awesome from the very first day. 

With Kahoot!, students can go from learners to leaders by creating their own kahoots or interactive presentations, sharing their knowledge and challenging their classmates while developing future ready skills like critical thinking and communication. Students can also choose their own learning adventure from a wide selection of ready-to-use content, including collections from Verified educators and publishers on Kahoot! Academy

Last month at our annual Kahoot! EDU Summit, thousands of educators around the world gathered virtually and discovered all our latest features, offerings and updates designed to make learning more interactive, engaging and student-centered. These included features coming for back-to-school and some you can use right now,  like our latest question types, ‘Slider’ and ‘Drop-pin’, and the new option to add up to 6 possible answers to a kahoot question. Educators got a sneak peek of our upcoming math learning app, Storm, and digital math manipulatives with fun, game-based math puzzles from Kahoot! Math Labs by DragonBox. We also invited educators to join beta testing groups for new game modes and integrations (if you missed the Summit live, no sweat; you can still sign up today!). 

For back-to-school season, we’re also excited to soon introduce Kahoot! Student Passes, free to try, as part of Kahoot! Premium+ and Kahoot! EDU. Kahoot! Student Passes will enable educators to give their students access to a suite of other learning apps, including Kahoot! Kids, and let them create their own kahoots or interactive presentations with all our question types and slide layouts.

What are your top goals for the new school year? What’s one new thing you’re excited to try in your classroom? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, and stay tuned for more resources and inspiration to make learning awesome!