The confluence of internet, mobile and social technologies in and outside of the classroom is having tremendous impact on the learning environment and provides teachers with an opportunity to act on their goal of helping students take charge of their own learning.
To do so requires a role shift from teacher as content expert and lecturer to teacher as facilitator and guide. Whether using “flipped classrooms” where students read and study topics independently on their own time and then do practical work and problem-solving in class or other models of facilitated learning, teaching as facilitation requires new instructional methods. Teachers must curate and make class content accessible anytime, anywhere, help students learn to evaluate content and find the right tools to help them problem-solve, help students engage each other, and create engagement and assessment tools to evaluate student progress frequently. Teacher evaluations do not take these facilitative instructional methods into account nor do they provide feedback and guidance on how best to implement these methods.
Facilitated learning allows teachers to instill a sense of lifelong learning in students and move them towards independence. It teaches students critical skills in problem-solving, teamwork and collaboration, evaluating information sources, and communication. It engages teachers in wholly different ways that can lead to better engagement and retention.