Insights on the Roles of Adult Educators

My first blog post…wow, I am certainly impressed with myself!  Have you ever felt like the above picture? I know that I sometimes fear the ever evolving world of technology, which I am learning to be quite common. With the rapid increase in technology these days, it is very hard to keep current and up to date with technology. When you look at the last twenty years from the inception of the internet to current day times, there has been remarkable leaps taken. I recently was visiting my brother and his family. My nephew, aged three, immediately picked up my smartphone, navigated his way through my sea of apps, emails, and other widgets and found his way to where the games were. Absolutely remarkable. How does he know how to use this device? Where is he learning how to navigate such complex terrain? It begins to make you think about the ways our future generations will learn. How will this effect me as an Adult Education Instructor?

Growing up in an era where almost all of my learning was done in a classroom setting with face to face instruction by the teacher and little time with a computer until the high school days, I have to admit that the new way of “online learning” yet alone “blogging” has been a new experience for me. It is very evident that the ways in which people are learning is making a drastic shift and the role of technology is playing a large part in this.

Together with my learning partner, George, we picked a topic that we felt emulated this shift in technology. We chose the subject “Blending Learning Approaches” as it is changing the ways in which we learn, and therefore teach. Gone are the days of ongoing lectures, whereby our students are expected to sit and absorb the words being taught.

Through research, George was able to locate a definition that the both of us used as a guiding light to our research. George came across the UBC website “ http://etec.ctlt.ubc.ca/510wiki/Blended_Learning ” authored by Sheila Hancock and Tamara Wong (February 2011) that contains the definition in general of the Blended Learning.

Quote “Blended learning is learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning which are applied in an interactively meaningful learning environment. As this is a general definition, we can abstract sub-definitions from it:

  • Blended learning courses combine online and classroom learning activities and resources in an optimal way to improve student learning outcomes and to address important institutional issues.
  • Blended learning is the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face to face and online approaches and technologies
  • Blended Learning is defined as a combination of traditional face-to-face learning and online learning.”

The expectation of our students will be that we use different mediums, and integrate interactive computer technology to change the learning experience to a more individualistic approach, which will ultimately lead to a change in our role where we will be less traditional teachers and more facilitators. I feel that this is appropriate in the Hospitality field, as the demographics of “students” is quite varied and everyone has not only their own learning style, but motivational triggers.

This role change to incorporate a blending learning environment has me scared and nervous, as it is a different approach that is still evolving. With that said, I am very excited to try new techniques in my role of an instructor or corporate trainer.

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