Some of the new insights that I gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play are:
- There are a number of educational theories developed by professionals throughout the courses of their careers and lifetimes. After reading a number of these theories I believe each theory has a number of good points that relate to how people learn. I don’t think an individual theory accurately describes how people learn. The collection of theories as a whole contains the components that describe how people learn. I will use different parts of these theories throughout the development of my instructional career.
- Learner centered instruction seems to be a more effective way to facilitate teaching for adult education. Engaging the students in an active learning process will make it easier, more engaging, and satisfying for students in this environment.
- The instructor becomes more of a facilitator and a guide directing the students toward exploring and discovering information and skills they need to know in order to become successful in their chosen studies.
Some of the trends in welding industry and how they are being addressed are:
- Welding industry is not attracting enough young people into careers, welding is still perceived by many as a crude and dirty process. Steps must be taken to bring more skilled personnel into the industry or changes must be made to accommodate for the lack of skilled personnel. Improving the image of welding so top students will be drawn into the industry and better training methods for welders and welding engineers are the key to the welding future.
- If there is any one thing to bank on for the future it’s the increased use of automation in welding operations. The declining numbers of, skilled welders is frequently mentioned as the reason for the growth of automation.
- The gas tungsten arc welding process use will increase as the need for high-quality work on thin materials surges.
Some of the trends that will influence education and how they are being addressed are:
- There is strong if not overwhelming evidence that behavior patterns of students, educators, employees and professionals are moving towards the use of social tools for learning, working and teaching. It will not be about the technology, it will be about making connections by voice and/or visual contributing to new knowledge, and learning with and from others all – mediated through social media. It will be behaviors of the students, lifelong learners and educators – their use of technology, specifically social media applications that will influence education.
- With today’s technology, collaborating seamlessly whether at a distance or face-to-face without technological barriers to get in the way is becoming a reality for professionals, students and educators and will be integral to the education experience. Collaboration done remotely or within institutions is becoming synonymous with working and learning. Collaboration is becoming a necessity providing lifelong learners the opportunity to share knowledge and locate expertise.
- Humanizing interactions in online learning, meetings, presentations and classrooms will be addressed by new technology. As technology gets better and the cost barrier falls the ability to connect face-to-face virtually is becoming a reality in education and will only expand over time as comfort levels with the technology increases among people. It seems that students seek not only a connection with faculty and peers, but want a humanized experience, including personal feedback, especially in online learning.
- Personalized learning experiences where learners are taking control of their learning, not relying upon institutions or companies for providing education and or vocational development they want and need, this trend will continue. An emerging trend in universities is something called alternative learning, where the learner gets to choose his or her learning path based upon their interests.
My Web conference experience was nonexistent due to lack of participation by my assigned partner. Reflecting about web conferencing and the value that it could potentially have is not lost upon me. My parents had a saying, “two or more minds are better than one”. Collaborating with peers and instructors on projects or assignments can be valuable in the sense that each member of the group brings different strengths. By combining all of these strengths it is much easier to complete projects and assignments and provide a high quality product in the end. Working in concert with other people can be rewarding and gratifying and web conferencing is another tool (thanks to technology) that we can use to fulfill this need.
I chose these resources on active learning because they outline the incredible benefits resulting from this learning process. I believe the more involved in the learning process the student is, the easier it is to absorb and become successful with the subject matter, as opposed to listening, writing notes and trying to comprehend the material presented. The websites I have chosen will help my instruction in the sense that I will be able to refer to them for ideas on how to create lessons, and learning environments that will motivate my students to become active learners.
I selected the web pages listed below on humor in the classroom because they hit the nail on the head. Humor reduces stress and tension, improves retention of information, and promotes creative understanding. The information contained in the web pages describes various methods to use humor in a beneficial way and how to avoid some pitfalls an instructor may encounter. I think humor can help create a positive learning environment and an emotional experience for my students which can be shared with all participants. This will help instruction by creating a lighter less stressful atmosphere.
Adult learners have many characteristics. One of the most important traits that each individual has is the fact that we all learn in different manners (Learning Styles). I chose this article because it clearly describes some of the most common learning styles recognized today. My ability to understand as many of these learning styles will help me provide information to participants in diverse ways. This will help students with different styles assimilate information more easily and efficiently, making me a more effective instructor.
How to Think Critically
Sometimes we all focus on the forest and not the trees. In order to find the answers to our questions and move forward we must get back to basics. The six questions that will enlighten our educational experience. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Wofford College president Ben Dunlap tells the story of Sandor Teszler, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who taught him about passionate living and lifelong learning. Both these people are inspiring and this story provides lessons for all.