I came across this fascinating blogpost yesterday by Stephen Downes, the Canadian education technology research specialist, and it gives a really thought provoking insight into many issues which resonate with the thinking of the National CPD Team (and probably many of our extended learning community as well).
In deconstructing the myriad of approaches to learning which Stephen identifies as either present or emerging, he re-evaluates the role of the educator, in alignment with the changing demands these different approaches bring with them.
He then identifies 23 different roles an educator may be required to fulfill and suggests that far from simplistically implying that educators are the most important determinant of student achievement, we might be wise to look much more carefully at educators strengths and deployment, and at how online learning is evolving, with opportunities for learners to seek out what they need when they need it. And most importantly, he suggest that we should be thinking and talking about this; having the conversations, and identifying moments to accomodate a shift in this direction.
A useful post-hoc contribution to the Summer School 2010 on transformational change, and great stuff for discussion in our online communities.
Let the conversations begin!
Stephen’s article was sourced in the Dec 8th edition of Huffington Post