By Marwa Kotb.
In recent years, the higher education sector has made considerable investments in equipment and infra structure to support educational technology, the primary driver for considering educational technology is to improve the quality of learning and teaching. No doubt that a lot educators are putting efforts to derive benefits from using technology, there are a variety of roles educators play related to the use educational technology, through this post I will consider four important roles educators play and the key insights I gained in term of each role, these four roles are educator role as a facilitator, and educator role as user and advocate of technology, educator role as an agent in learning process transformation, and educator role as a long life learner.
The Educator’s Role: Facilitator.
As the educators’ role is changing to facilitators, their main task is to show students “how to follow the trails to learning for themselves or how to blaze their own trails” (Jukes, McCain& Crockett, 2010). The educational technology tools give the educators continuous feedback if their students are learning well or if adjustments need to be made to improve the teaching and learning situation, these tools can help educators to provide a tailored approach addressing individual student’s learning style. Using technology could help educators to save time as they give great aid to teach lower-level skills that have been always taking most of the time and effort of any educator, thus making a room for teaching higher level skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.
The Educator’s Role: User and Advocate of Technology
Teachers must become advocates for getting relevant technology in their fields to their classrooms so that all students can benefit, in order to compel students to want to learn and engage them actively in learning process, educators must make good decisions what tools to use and how to use them, they must be well prepared to use technology in class. Educators need a lot of support from their institutions in training and on-site technology support to be confident, that confidence will reflect upon benefits gained from using technology within their courses (Jukes , McCain & Crockett , 2010) .
The Educator’s Role: Agent in future transformation of the whole learning process.
Educators must see themselves as members of a learning organization that develops, adapts, and transforms itself in response to the needs and aspirations of the future, educators that adapt a learner focused approach, they use technology tools such as wikis, blogs, discussion forums, portfolios, etc. to facilitate the learning process, they use tools to enable students to obtain sources of information, undertake group tasks, or to reflect upon and demonstrate developments in their understanding and practices, these educators are agents in transforming the learning process and are pioneers in the current educational change (Kirkwood & Price, 2013). Unfortunately some educators are still adapting teacher focused conception, they more likely to use technology that support transmissive teaching strategies such as powerpoint shows, podcasts or webcasts of lectures, here technology tools are just used to replicate or supplement their existing teaching practices, these educators are just using technology to deliver their courses content, the content that remained unchanged, they don’t play a role in the transformation of the learning process.
The Educator’s Role: Lifelong Learner.
In the fast paced technology revolution, most educators are trying to stay up to date, so they are learning right along with their students about new technology and even to learning from students. Educators in the new millennium must understand that their role is changing from teaching students to learning with students (ADCOCK, 2008).
ADCOCK P. (2008). Evolution of Teaching and Learning through Technology. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bullet. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu.
Jukes I. , McCain T. & Crockett L. (2010). Education and the Role of the Educator in the Future. kappanmagazine, 92(4), 15-21. Retrieved from http://kappanmagazine.org
Kirkwood A. & Price L. (2013). Missing: evidence of a scholarly approach to teaching and learning with technology in higher education. Routledge, 18(3), 327-337. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2013.773419