I was drawn to all three of the above articles not because they hit the nail on the head in terms of Roles and Trends of Adult Educators, but for what they mean to adult education in general. It is very hard not to comment on the future of education and the role of educators without commenting on the bull in the china shop that is the internet. I am of the camp that if we as educators and those that administer education businesses do not fully embrace the changes we are now presented with, we will find ourselves lost. In 2008, when I sold my ESL school part of the reason I did so was that I did not have a way to reach enough students. Although the market was big enough it became that much more difficult to get B.I.S. (bums in seats). I also could see how “video conferencing” was being made available to everyone and it wouldn’t be long until online (with little or no compensation) education would become ever more the norm. The old model is/was clearly broken for me. Fast forward 5 years and I now find myself trying to analyze a profession/business that I walked away from.
With regards to the links above and the question:
A) What new insights in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play?
I believe that adult educators have an increasingly important role to play. But what form/format do we as educators take on? Increasingly older methods of instruction are becoming outdated. We find ourselves with the problem of having to many facilities, and students/customers with not enough money to pay for them. In Canada it was recently reported on the CBC “…that after graduating, one in three 25 to 29 year olds with a college or university degree ends up in a low-skilled job. And to make things worse, 60% graduate with an average debt of $27,000.” Quite chilling statistics ! What can we do as educators? What is clear is that without “a nationwide dialogue and plan” that allows for job/education stream matching we are bound to keep on increasing the misery for future graduate generations. I believe our roles will take on more mentoring as we will find ourselves being asked increase the likelihood that students will gain solid employment upon graduation. We also need to embrace the more cost-effective delivery system, as the aforementioned MOOC are trying now to do. Interestingly it is the largest and most wealthiest academic institutions that are partnering with venture capital and computer scientists. What will this mean for the colleges(and educators that work there)that are trying to be a “jack of all trades” ? Will this MOOC model siphon away their revenue stream ?
B) What are the trends in your field? How are you preparing to address these trends?
It is my intent to, at the very least, to help educate those in the coffee industry (green coffee trading, grading, marketing) to better understand their product more deeply. One of the trends evident in my field are disparate “coffee courses”which are not necessarily directed to those with a professional coffee background. I intend to mix my licensed grading skills, with the diploma on adult education therefore bringing a more balanced approach to coffee education. I see a high probability with regards to consultative positions, in the training departments of medium/large integrated roasters and marketers of coffee. I am prepared to offer my own syllabus or use one of the syllabus developed by the speciality coffee industry. I intend to be able to mix my attention to quality buying choices and also classroom delivery experience to offer a my clients a more solid coffee foundation .
C) Reflect on the Web-Conference experience ? How was it ? What was one thing you learned ?
Sadly, my learning partner decided not to finish the course. Therefore I have no experience with regards to being able to deliver the above information to her. I did however have the experience of talking with her on one occasion for about 2 hours. I believe I was very lucky in a sense that she had a vast amount of experience which was very different to mine. I found her to be very open and quite considerate. It is a shame that I could not finish the assignment with her as I would have no doubt enjoyed what she had to say on our chosen articles. The one thing I learned was that , although the web-conference experience is very cost-effective means of meeting people I am still (under the perhaps misguided belief) that interaction in person makes for deeper understanding. It is odd that I now write this, as I thought it strange that my learning partner wanted to meet in person as opposed to a web conference.