Reflections on my Trends and Roles Assignment
Educators are amazing beings! I once thought that their sole job was to deliver information and then test on the subject matter. Boy was I wrong! The role of the educator is SO much more. A skilled educator has to take so many things into consideration before even looking at delivering the subject matter. Who are the students? What are the student’s needs? What is intrinsically motivating them? How do they create a safe environment for sharing and collaboration? What are the student’s values and wishes for ground rules in the class? How will they establish a meaningful connection with each individual student?
Many educators are taking on a more constructivist role, creating classrooms with more hands-on opportunities. They are taking into consideration Malcolm Knowles’ theory on Andragogy showing us who the adult learner is, and what are their needs in the classroom. This education style has the instructor as more of the facilitator or guide as the students do most of the leading as they move closer towards their learning goals.
The educator needs to be able to see the needs, and take on whatever role is necessary at the time to fill that need. Do they need a coach? A motivator? A planner? A lecturer? A facilitator? An evaluator? An entertainer? All these roles are filled at one time or another, and it is the educator’s job to have the insight and understanding to know what the students need at that particular moment.
The practice of education as we know it is constantly changing and evolving. New technology is emerging and being used in the classrooms where it has never been before. New research showing evidence-based practice is guiding how educators are running the classroom.
The 2012 Horizon Report projects that media is going to be more and more utilized in the classrooms today. Students are more tech-savvy and expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever they want. Educators need to be aware of these expectations and need to be able to facilitate a more technology-based learning environment.
One of the new trends that is emerging is the “Flipped Classroom”. The Faculty Focus article, Understanding the flipped classroom: Part 1 (added in resource section), even states that “The flipped classroom seems to be the latest buzz in educational trends”.This model of instruction really embraces the constructivist approach, where the students are given the opportunity to have lots of hands-on experience to apply what they have learned into real-life situations. The Educause article, 7 Things you should know about flipped classrooms, (added in resource section) states that the flipped classroom allows the students to have a “more collaborative and cooperative contribution to the teaching process”
The idea behind the flipped classroom is that students are given mini-lectures and/or online content to review prior to coming to class. The in-class time is spent putting the theory into practice. The educator will have activities that allow the students to really comprehend the subject matter by using it in the classroom. The educator gives lots of feedback and clarification is given if to clear up any questions the students may have. The Faculty Focus article (added in resource section) explains many benefits to the flipped classroom, including use of technology to remove passive, one-way lecturing as the only means of teaching. It states that the instructor then is more able to interact with the students which is what really characterizes its success.
Having the web conference with my learning partner allowed me to be able to have the chance to articulate the learning that I have done as well as catch new insights that I may have missed in my research. It really made me see how my focus from my ‘nurse’ lens impacts what I see in the research I do. It was nice to be able to research the same subject with someone with an entirely different lens to see how that new trend was going to impact their educational journey. It was also really nice to have the opportunity to collaborate with a fellow student as I can see that I am missing that social aspect of the classroom setting. I definitely need to be more involved with the community of learners and especially the coffee shop.