Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Educators as Facilitators

The 21st century student goes to the internet for research and information acquisition before they use the library. Now is the time for educators to bring information skills into a collaborative and supportive classroom environment to facilitate student centered learning. Today the Net Generation navigates the internet with ease, but they a reluctant to approach library staff and faculty for research using technology. Libraries and digital information resources can play an important role in the education of today's learner.
Technology advances like Web 2.0, blogs, and wikis open the classroom environment in multiple directions by opening communications that allow for an interactive way to share information among groups of people and construct knowledge through critical thinking about information. Currently, most education takes place outside the classroom and provides for learner discovery through the lens of technology. The challenge that faces the educator is to facilitate learner information literacy to allow for how the learning takes place and not what the learner needs to learn. We need to force the learner to take a risk by creating a trusted environment to discover and build the knowledge of the future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Student-Centered Lifelong Learning

With many of our teachers currently stuck in an out-of-date belief system that students need to pass a test to move forward or be retained; and with teachers struggling with the use of technology in the classroom, the learner is actively seeking technological advances in the learning process.

The Educator of today will articulate to their students the process of lifelong learning skills. This allows the student to take an active role in their learning from memorizing and repeating information, to exploring through self-discovery to perform and transfer self-learned information to solve new problems.

To accomplish this goal, we as educators will facilitate a student-centered learning environment that allows for students to learn on their own, teach others, develop communication skills and collaborate with others, develop lifelong learning skills, public speaking, followed by self-assessment of their work.

With the tremendous amount of human knowledge available with current technology, not to mention what the future has in store; the scope of knowledge does not allow for the traditional educational system and the beliefs of the past to be effective.

The teacher of today needs to drop the notion that if we don’t teach them (the student), they will not learn our information. We as EDUCATORS will replace this antiquated thinking with the forward thinking that allows our students to be lifelong learners. By preparing independent self-motivating lifelong learners to learn in a student-centered technologically advanced global learning environment, they will learn their information to be successful in their lives.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Validation and Educational Leadership

The effective leader is one that displays consistent behavior and that is respectful through personal validation of others. Validation is to focus on someone's feelings, accepting someone's feelings, understanding them, and followed by nurturing them. By validating someone, we provide a safe environment for them to share their feelings and thoughts with respect. This process allows people to feel that their ideas were heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted. As educational leaders validate the people we work with, we enhance those around us, and add value to them in a learning environment without dictating to them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Technology...Transforming teachers into educators:

With advances in educational technology, teachers are now becoming educators. In the past, many classroom environments relied on punishing tools to allow teachers to achieve the outcomes they desired of their students through guilt, intrepidation, and embarrassment of the learner. The classroom teacher using a “stand and deliver” approach, followed by measurement or evaluation as a test of student learning does not create an educational environment that allows for student engagement. The educator of today creates a meaningful emotional relationship with the learner by allowing for student engagement through the use of technology in the classroom, and ultimately followed by assessment as a way to test if the learning objectives were achieved. By implementing technology into the pedagogy, it provides a learning environment that encourages the learner to participate in the learning process. Furthermore, this positive emotional support for student centered learning translates into student centered practice to create a “Learn by doing” educational experience. As the digital age advances into the future; and as those of us in educational administration look through the lens of these advances in educational technology, let us move the teacher forward to the educator of the future.

Friday, October 3, 2008

ED 400 - 10/6/08 - Authentic Learning

Authentic Learning – Dan Eller – 10/6/08
As educators in higher education, we are always looking for ways to make information more meaningful to our students. Authentic learning allows for this “meaning” by presenting students with problem-solving activities that employee authentic, real-world questions that enable students to participate in a learning community. In this learning community there exists many sources of knowledge, but the teacher is but one source of this knowledge.
Higher education today attracts a participatory learner engaged with state-of-the-art technology; students can use their online collaborative abilities to develop their academic pursuits. This community collaboration goes beyond the walls of the classroom and teacher delivered instruction, to encompass all that is waiting outside the traditional learning environment. This places the learner in somewhat of an uncomfortable, non-directed learning environment where the teacher can act as the guide to facilitate this broader learning world. By incorporating this pedagogy into our teaching practice, we continue the future exploration of knowledge by our students, and ultimately provide a stable foundation for this student driven knowledge to become student driven practice.