The days of the educator-centred classroom are long gone. Across schools, universities and educational centres there is a growing understanding that only the learner can bear the responsibility of their own learning, and the educator, rather than a simple repository of knowledge, should be taking on the roles of an inspiration, a tutor, an advisor, feedback provider. The educator should help the learner make sense of what they are trying to achieve, how they should go about it, where to search for resources, how they are doing in pursuing their goals. This is even truer in hybrid educational formats, as the educator has no direct influence over the attention and the motivation of the learners when they are on their own.
Empowering the learner is the first step of this journey. Of course, in order to be able to empower others, one must feel empowered oneself. It also comes from adopting a mindset that sustained effort always leads to growth. The process also requires the ability to empathise – to put oneself in the shoes of the learners and understand the challenges they are facing. The improved understanding of the learners’ perspective is key in supporting them to set up and achieve their own educational goals. In a digital environment, the effective pursuit of learning goals requires setting up a stimulating environment free of distractions – otherwise the increased freedom of the learner can turn from an asset into a detriment.