Yesterday I was drawn to the following statements from Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Divide in Education.
- Those who tell the computer what to do for exploring the world grasp the power of technology.
- Those who are unable to claim computers as their own tool will never grasp the power of technology. They are controlled by technology.
These statements relate directly to facilitating online learning. Looking at this weeks definitions of a facilitator I see a couple of examples.
First definition of a facilitator
“The facilitator’s job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility. By supporting everyone to do their best thinking, a facilitator enables group members to search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable agreements” – Kaner
I believe it is essential to be able to tell a computer what to do to encourage and support learners to do their best thinking, search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable participation. The faculty member needs to understand what tools to use and how to use them in ways that will enhance the learning process described in the first sentence.
When faculty members are fearful of technology they become dis-empowered. How can faculty teach exploring the world with technology when we they are themselves dis-empowered ?
Second definition of a facilitator
Some facilitators see their main role as moderating a discussion and keeping order.
Ok it is my opinion that many of these facilitators are unable to claim computers as their own tool. They hide. They feel most comfortable in safe “walled off” areas where they can hide their fear. They are afraid to take on learning to use new tools for new ways of learning. Yet their students are actively involved in using these tools for social interaction. These faculty members are being left behind. As the Grateful Dead sing ” Trouble ahead
Trouble behind, and you know that notion just crossed my mind.”