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?

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The delicate role of Teachers

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The delicate role of Teachers
Answer
11/20/15 5:35 AM
Each and every era has got that something special. In our times it seems to be the recursive dialogue that is continuously taking place between nascent digital technologies and the Internet and which seems to be changing not only our personal lives but the topography of society at large, mediating our modes of expression in everyday life.

When considering that this phenomenon of digitalization is much shorter than the average lifetime of a person it is natural that it has caught many people off balance bringing about differentiation between generations. Thus we find the digital natives that pertain to the younger generation who are considered to be very fluent with technologies, the digital settlers who while aware of a different mode off living before the advent of the WWW can liaise themselves very well with the digitization of everyday life and the digital immigrants who still struggle to make heads or tails of nascent technologies. To complicate things there are also major differences between the digital natives themselves because technological changes are taking place so rapidly that digital natives that are just five years apart are expressing themselves through different technologies as well.

So where does this all place us? As teachers we are living very particular times because while most, if not all of us have been taught in traditional methods; mostly based on instruction homework (at home) and classwork (in the class); we are now meant to do it otherwise. We have to do it otherwise not only because policy makers dictate it but also for the fact that this is the way that the rising generation seems to be living their lives and hopefully the best way they would prefer to learn.

In the meantime, educators are very much aware that learning is taking place in those private spaces on social networks away from formal educational contexts. In this case, if we intend to make learning intriguing, interesting and authentic it definitely does make sense if such digitally mediated modes of learning are adopted and adapted in formal educational settings. It is therefore obvious that this will inevitably bring about changes in pedagogical methodologies. In this case considering that students are very creative in their own private spheres it does make sense to employ flipped classroom methodologies where students become producers away from the formal classroom and in this case make use of face to face classroom time to show, check and discuss and learn from the teachers and each other. In this scenario I wonder how the teacher will facilitate the learning and assessment process, most probably through Learning Management Systems that themselves entail new aspects of pedagogies.
+1 (1 Vote)

RE: The delicate role of Teachers
Answer
11/20/15 3:15 PM as a reply to Patrick Camilleri.
Hello,
I agree with you: we, as teachers, have a challenging role in school nowadays. We have to face quick changes, new generations and above all, the technology which is running very fast. Flipped classroom is a concept which has transformed our teaching practice. The sad thing is that most students are carrying in their pockets a more powerful computing device than the vast majority of computers in our underfunded schools—and we don't allow them to use it.I think this is a problem and we have to face it! |Our students understand digital learning. To them, if we are using technology, is speaking their language.
I hope that most of teacher will try to speak the language...
+1 (1 Vote)

RE: The delicate role of Teachers
Answer
11/22/15 9:41 AM as a reply to Patrick Camilleri.
Hi everyone,
In my opinion, students nowadays should not be and aren't consumers of facts, they are active creators of knowledge, too. Teachers rather than see themselves solely as masters of subject matter such as math, or science, understand that they must also inspire a love of learning. In practice, this new relationship between teachers and students takes the form of a different concept of instruction. Teachers have found they accomplish more if they adopt the role of educational guides, facilitators, and co-learners. One of the most powerful forces changing teachers' and students' roles in education is new technology. The model of flipped classroom gives teachers more opportunities to work directly with students. Because of this the teachers can see when an individual student is having trouble with a concept and they can work with students directly to get through it and it is more effective. emoticon
0 (0 Votes)

RE: The delicate role of Teachers
Answer
11/25/15 10:36 PM as a reply to Zuzana Mészárosová.
My opinion is that teachers, policy makers and also parents have a very important role in education.
Before talking about the use of any of the methods or techniques, I would say, that the reputation of the teachers, their recognition should be maintained in the society. If the teachers are well recognized, they can be a model to their students, and they can attract the students’ attention much easier to the subjects.

On the other hand, if the overall recognition of the teachers diminishes, strange reactions can happen from parents, from politicians and even from the students. For example parents can behave as “experts”, who give advice in “science teaching” or any other subjects taught by the teacher. If parents do not agree about what is going on in schools, or if they make a strange opinion about the classes, their child will be against the teachers and will not be ready to study the subject. The parents have the biggest role in education, because their influence on their child is the most important factor.

Sometimes it is difficult to maintain the good recognition of teachers in the society, because unfortunately their media appearance is unbalanced: practically no positive stories are told, but the media picks up only stories about paedophile teachers or about violent teachers in schools. Many students and families conclude that this behaviour is quite common among the teachers, and this deteriorates the recognition of the whole teacher community.

Without these problems we would be able to do very good things in the classes. We could ask students to work hard, to turn to their neighbours, to use their mobile devices for learning and doing their work.

Summarized: teachers have a crucial role in education, and our main goal is to teach and educate the new generation without decreasing the quality of the education. The recognition of teachers within the society is an important condition for an effective educational work.

Beata Jarosievitz Dr.
0 (0 Votes)

RE: The delicate role of Teachers
Answer
11/27/15 12:25 PM as a reply to Cornelia Melcu.
Cornelia Melcu:
Hello,
I agree with you: we, as teachers, have a challenging role in school nowadays. We have to face quick changes, new generations and above all, the technology which is running very fast. Flipped classroom is a concept which has transformed our teaching practice. The sad thing is that most students are carrying in their pockets a more powerful computing device than the vast majority of computers in our underfunded schools—and we don't allow them to use it.I think this is a problem and we have to face it! |Our students understand digital learning. To them, if we are using technology, is speaking their language.
I hope that most of teacher will try to speak the language...


Cornelia

I agree that underfunding is a big problem.
With greater access to tablets and smartphones, students should be allowed to bring their own devices.
However, the proper training of teachers in the new technologies is most important.
Everybody on this COP is very literate with ICT, but there are a lot of teachers who are not for different reasons. This problem has to be tackled to encourage more teachers to use ICT in their classrooms.
0 (0 Votes)

RE: The delicate role of Teachers
Answer
11/27/15 7:44 PM as a reply to Zuzana Mészárosová.
Zuzana Mészárosová:
Hi everyone,
In my opinion, students nowadays should not be and aren't consumers of facts, they are active creators of knowledge, too. Teachers rather than see themselves solely as masters of subject matter such as math, or science, understand that they must also inspire a love of learning. In practice, this new relationship between teachers and students takes the form of a different concept of instruction. Teachers have found they accomplish more if they adopt the role of educational guides, facilitators, and co-learners. One of the most powerful forces changing teachers' and students' roles in education is new technology. The model of flipped classroom gives teachers more opportunities to work directly with students. Because of this the teachers can see when an individual student is having trouble with a concept and they can work with students directly to get through it and it is more effective. emoticon


Well said! emoticon

Most of all I want to point out 'co-learning' aspect which put us not only in a flipped classroom considering learning and teaching strategies, but reverses the roles of participants in that process - there is a space where teacher will learn a great deal about using new tech. It should be and exchange process which synergy will lead to a ideal learning environment.
0 (0 Votes)