TOPIC 2: The role of teachers in new educational environments TOPIC 2: The role of teachers in new educational environments

With the constant evolution in pedagogical approaches, the role of teachers and educators also evolves. In particular, by implementing the concept of the Flipped Classroom, lessons become less teacher-centered and more student-centered. In that sense, how does this affect the role of educators?

On the one hand, lessons are no longer structured in a way in which content is just delivered, nor is the teacher the one doing it. Instead, the educator takes the role of a facilitator of learning. This new role has the advantages of, for instance, being able to work with students in smalls groups and of making one-on-one interaction possible. As a result, teachers can gain a clearer idea of the students' different levels, so they can tailor their instruction to the needs of each one.

On the other hand, the use of ICT is posing even further changes in education, vastly affecting the teachers work and their professional development. The incorporation of new technologies is, as we have seen, affecting the type of activities to be done in the classroom as well as the pedagogical approaches (without technolgy, the flipped classroom wouldn't be possible, for a start).

In the future, learning is expected to become much more personalized, collaborative and informal as well as supported by flexible and dynamic virtual environments and by a range of tools facilitating learning inside and outside the classroom.

OPEN QUESTIONS

  • How do you think the role of the teacher should shift in the future? What should be the primary role of the educator?
  • What is your opinion on the use of ICT in the classroom for this type of scenarios?
  • What are your expectations for the classroom of the future?

Message Boards (TOPIC 2: THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN NEW EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS) Message Boards (TOPIC 2: THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN NEW EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS)

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11/13/15 10:45 AM
Welcome to the COP 9!

The topic is "Open source software and creative commons allowing derivatives resources in education". You can start discussing here, or - if you prefer - start a separate thread in case you want to discuss a specific issue.

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11/19/15 8:17 AM as a reply to Marina Jimenez.
My opinion is that teachers are important as role models to youths more than we all think. On my experience a lot of young students decide what they will do in future on base of experience in school. If they liked teacher of one subject they often go to study it.
But the role of a teacher change all the time. With new technologies we are not any more the only source of information. We have to lead that through sources and help them to evaluate them. Here we come to the teachers’ knowledge in ICT.
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11/19/15 9:06 AM as a reply to Tatjana Gulič.
Teachers are allways the more important model for the kids, after their parents (and in some cases before their on parents).
However, in the new learning scenarios, the challenge is growing because the teachers as to be updated in technology developments, science outbrakes and teaching evolution. It is harder to be a teacher because time didn't increase with the development of technology. However, everytime I see the light on one of my students eyes, every efort, every work is compensate. It is good to be a teacher on this new times...
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11/20/15 12:35 AM as a reply to Marina Jimenez.
Dear Colleges,

Just nowadays I heard some interesting metaphor about the role of the teachers:

In the past:

The teacher was like a gardener who plant the seed and take care of it to make it grow bigger and bigger.

Now:

The teacher should be like rocket-engineer who has limited time (and energy) to plan and construct the rocket to make it successful in its whole life period even after lunching the teacher has no effect on the student.

It is a great challenge and ICT can be a big help but I think no matter how the technology evolves there always will be human teachers.

Regards,
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11/21/15 1:19 PM as a reply to Marina Jimenez.
I agree with Tatjana Gulič about that we are still models for our students and about the idea that our role is changing. ICT is a 'rule breaker' which force us to go out of our supposed comfort zone.

Carlos Cunha summarized the challenge very well when he says:

However, in the new learning scenarios, the challenge is growing because the teachers as to be updated in technology developments, science outbreaks and teaching evolution. It is harder to be a teacher because time didn't increase with the development of technology


Zsolt Vicze says that

It is a great challenge and ICT can be a big help


.. and I'm going to follow from the last idea. I firmly believe that ICT is a challenge but above all an opportunity for teachers. Call me illusionist if you want but I think that ICT can help teachers to focus on more rewarding and valuable tasks and let the the machines do others which they do better than us (yes! there're things that a machine can do better than us).

For example:
  • I can't ask everyday 10 questions to all my 140 pupils to know if they understood the lesson and I should go ahead the next day.
  • Of course I can detect misconceptions but, well configured, a machine can do this better than us.
  • Not always I'm able to show/transmit the beauty of things (macroscopic or microscopic) but an image, short video or a good simulator can help so much.
  • I have no time to share with the parents what we're doing in class and let them see the resources that we're using but with some ICT tools is very easy.


The digital competencies of teachers is a key issue. Some in-service teachers see digital competencies as a big wall and feel that they're unable of passing it. Carlos pointed out the 'growing scenario' issue which is particularly important for STEM teachers because of our field(s) of knowledge is/are on an endless isotropic expansion.

However, call me illusionist again, I think that once we got a minimum of digital competences we'd be able to cope with the aforementioned 'endless isotropic expansion'. The remaining question and the key issue is:

What are the basic digital competencies that should be required to teach?



Toni Soto SDA from Vigo (Spain)
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11/23/15 7:14 PM as a reply to Marina Jimenez.
I also think that the role of the teacher is important. As can be seen from the NMC Horizon K-12 report (http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2015-k-12-edition/, Rethinking the Roles of Teachrs, page 28), it is a difficult challenge that we all understand but solution are elusive.
Why?
Perhaps because of all that you specify.
In fact, depending on the method and technology that we use as teachers in the classroom and our role is changing.
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11/25/15 3:54 PM as a reply to Tatjana Gulič.
I fully agree that the role of the teacher has changed a lot but we need to equip our students with all the skills and knowledge it takes to select the right sources from the internet. They should also be users of online reseources who are able to ask questions and to put information to the test, in short to be critical users.

hilde
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11/25/15 10:40 PM as a reply to Toni Soto.
Use of ICT is very important, we cannot live without, but we also cannot live without Physics, Mathematics and other science subjects.
If we want to let our students leave universities, colleges or even secondary schools with an adequate knowledge and with applicable skills in Physics, or other subjects we should take advantage of the ICT, multimedia and new devices and their applications (B. Jarosievitz 2011, 2009). All these new possibilities can be used only if we have well-constructed programs which are based on new educational methods.


Beata Jarosievitz Dr.
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11/27/15 11:20 AM as a reply to hilde kletzl.
hilde kletzl:
I fully agree that the role of the teacher has changed a lot but we need to equip our students with all the skills and knowledge it takes to select the right sources from the internet. They should also be users of online reseources who are able to ask questions and to put information to the test, in short to be critical users.

hilde


The role of the teacher as s facilitator has not really changed a lot.
What has changed is the tools that the teacher now has available. The use of ict is a powerful tool in communications between teacher and students. Thus we have to adapt to the methods that the students find most comfortable, make use of social media etc?
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11/27/15 7:31 PM as a reply to Toni Soto.
Toni Soto:
I agree with Tatjana Gulič about that we are still models for our students and about the idea that our role is changing. ICT is a 'rule breaker' which force us to go out of our supposed comfort zone.


I will go with the theory of a 'rule breaker'. It goes great within the educational environment that can not provide and deliver learning prices rather the delivering row knowledge. In Serbia change can be terrifying to many teachers, and there is great change just waiting to happen - Ministry of education is working on new National Curriculum that will shift concept from 'what we need to learn' (content knowledge), to how we can learn (learning strategies). And hopefully this will open a door to all 'new' teaching strategies which will change the role of teachers and students the way many of you described.


Toni Soto:
The remaining question and the key issue is:

What are the basic digital competencies that should be required to teach?



This question is something that I've being thinking about past few years, because I was in a role of teacher ITC trainer in school that I work. First I was surprised how many of my collages are NOT using computer in their life or work (didn't even have email accounts), than other surprise came in: how many of them thing they do not need ITC in the class room.

A recent anecdote. Principle of my school went to attend a class of a mat teacher because some of her collages were complaining that she is using ITC too much in here classes. Principle agreed with that statement and went to see if that is true because, and i quote "what kind of math is that if you are not using board and markers?"
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11/29/15 10:02 PM as a reply to Tatjana Gulič.
Hello,

This CoP is really interesting. I am sure that many teachers still are role models although everything is changing so fast. I think that the role of teachers is also changing quite fast and new time needs new approaches. But we are still on the way to understand and find the best solutions. It can't be only more and more ICT without smart teachers. May be in the changing environment teachers become even more important, in new ways, of course.

Recently I participated in the event where the role of ICT was discussed. The topic seems to be really complicated and controversial. We usually believe that using ICT is the key to success at school. But the results of PISA 2012 showed some intriguing results:

“Students, Computers and Learning: Making The Connection” says that even countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science.
Ensuring that every child reaches a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than solely expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services, says the OECD.

In 2012, 96% of 15-year-old students in OECD countries reported having a computer at home, but only 72% reported using one at school. Overall, students who use computers moderately at school tend to have somewhat better learning outcomes than students who use computers rarely. But students who use computers very frequently at school do much worse, even after accounting for social background and student demographics.

The report found that the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students in digital reading was very similar to the differences in performance in the traditional PISA reading test, despite the vast majority of students using computers whatever their background. This suggests that to reduce inequalities in digital skills, countries need to improve equity in education first.

We have what to think about...
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