When thinking of the role of an adult educator, as a generalization I see us
wearing a few different hats, so to speak. With five orientations of learning, as seen in
Table 11.1 on Page 295 of Learning in Adulthood, we as educators have many options
on how we deliver content, speaking from an intellectual and personal level. Depending
on the teacher and potentially the group of learners, will determine which orientation is
Behaviorist, humanist, cognitivist or social cognitive may be the styles some teachers
may choose, I personally lean towards the constructivist approach, delivering a message
through facilitation which includes experiential learning and self reflection. Experiential
learning and technology go hand in hand in a learning environment.
Knowles (p. 384. 1968) states that experience (including error) provides the
basis for learning activities. Integrating technology into a classroom for a student to
have physical hands on learning is key to engagement and full understanding. The role
the educator plays in regards to technology is vital, we need to be one step ahead of
what is new in the tech world and evolve as it evolves. The role we play here is being
the expert. Whether you are using technology in your teachings or teaching a student
how to use a device, in order to gain confidence in yourself and have your student be
confident in you and your teaching you need to be the savvy expert on whatever it may
be that you are using. Unlike the personal aspect of teaching such as coaching or
management skills where we have the opportunity to learn as we facilitate and create
discussion through questioning and each other’s opinions, technology is black and
white. You know it, or you don’t!
The biggest thing I am charging myself with is research. With technology
changing so rapidly and evolving into something my brain cannot fully process at all
times, I am making it a priority to know what changes are happening in the tech world,
understanding these changes and knowing what my resources really are. To me
becoming an expert on certain technology doesn’t mean being able to defrag a hard
drive, reinstall windows and understand what exactly the motherboard does but
knowing what will matter to my students and being able to recognize the important
information from the techno noise and delivering this info to my trainees the best I can
so they can use these resources to make their every day work lives that much easier.
This is my role as a tech savvy adult educator.
Table 11.1 Five Orientations to Learning (Learning in Adulthood, P.295-296)
Knowles (p384. 1968) 6 assumptions related to motivation