Teaching in Social and Technological Networks

Technological networks have transformed prominent businesses sectors: music, television, financial, manufacturing. Social networks, driven by technological networks, have similarly transformed communication, news, and personal interactions. Education sits at the social/technological nexus of change – primed for dramatic transformative change. In recent posts, I’ve argued for needed systemic innovation. I’d like focus more specifically on how teaching is impacted by social and technological networks.

What is the role of a teacher?

A teacher/instructor/professor obviously plays numerous roles in a traditional classroom: role model, encourager, supporter, guide, synthesizer. Most importantly, the teacher offers a narrative of coherence of a particular discipline. Selecting a textbook, determining and sequencing lecture topics, and planning learning activities, are all undertaken to offer coherence of a subject area. Instructional (or learning) design is a structured method of coherence provision.

This model works well when we can centralize both the content (curriculum) and the teacher. The model falls apart when we distribute content and extend the activities of the teacher to include multiple educator inputs and peer-driven learning. Simply: social and technological networks subvert the classroom-based role of the teacher. Networks thin classroom walls. Experts are no longer “out there” or “over there”. Skype brings anyone, from anywhere, into a classroom. Students are not confined to interacting with only the ideas of a researcher or theorist. Instead, a student can interact directly with researchers through Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and listservs. The largely unitary voice of the traditional teacher is fragmented by the limitless conversation opportunities available in networks. When learners have control of the tools of conversation, they also control the conversations in which they choose to engage.

Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections, and so on.

What is the impact of conversation/content fragmentation?

Traditional courses provide a coherent view of a subject. This view is shaped by “learning outcomes” (or objectives). These outcomes drive the selection of content and the design of learning activities. Ideally, outcomes and content/curriculum/instruction are then aligned with the assessment. It’s all very logical: we teach what we say we are going to teach, and then we assess what we said we would teach. This cozy comfortable world of outcomes-instruction-assessment alignment exists only in education. In all other areas of life, ambiguity, uncertainty, and unkowns reign.

Fragmentation of content and conversation is about to disrupt this well-ordered view of learning. Educators and universities are beginning to realize that they no longer have the control they once (thought they) did.

However, in order for education to work within the larger structure of integrated societal systems, clear outcomes are still needed. Growing accountability emphasis in all levels of education – primary, secondary, and post-secondary – suggests that the system needs to produce concise outcomes. Fragmentation, it would appear, pushes against this.

How can we achieve clear outcomes through distributed means? How can we achieve learning targets when the educator is no longer able to control the actions of learners?

The Knotted Ball of Education

Based on the courses I’ve taught with Stephen Downes over the last few years – CCK08 & CCK09 – I’ve come to view teaching as a critical and needed activity in the chaotic and ambiguous information climate created by networks. In the future, however, the role of the teacher, the educator, will be dramatically different from the current norm. Views of teaching, of learner roles, of literacies, of expertise, of control, and of pedagogy are knotted together. Untying one requires untying the entire model.

And that is precisely what I suggest.

In this short article, I’ll focus on one specific aspect of the knotted ball of education: the role of the teacher.

Given that coherence and lucidity are key to understanding our world, how do educators teach in networks? For educators, control is being replaced with influence. Instead of controlling a classroom, a teacher now influences or shapes a network.

The following are roles teacher play in networked learning environments:

1. Amplifying
2. Curating
3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking
4. Aggregating
5. Filtering
6. Modelling
7. Persistent presence

Amplifying

Social media like Twitter provide a few examples of how teacher’s roles might change. Twitter has an option available to users called re-tweet (RT). This is essentially amplification. If one Twitterer posts a link to an article in NY Times, her followers may find the article useful and then respond by re-tweeting the article. Each RT amplifies the message. Even a handful of Twitter users, with say 20 followers each, can quickly spread a message to hundreds of people. Each RT amplifies the message much like an electronic amplifier increases the amplitude of audio or video transmitters.

In networks, teachers are one node among many. Learners will, however, likely be somewhat selective of which nodes they follow and listen to. Most likely, a teacher will be one of the more prominent nodes in a learner’s network. Thoughts, ideas, or messages that the teacher amplifies will generally have a greater probability of being seen by course participants. The network of information is shaped by the actions of the teacher in drawing attention to signals (content elements) that are particularly important in a given subject area.

Curating

Several years ago, I suggested curatorial teaching (10 minute presentation):

An expert (the curator) exists in the artifacts displayed, resources reviewed in class, concepts being discussed. But she’s behind the scenes providing interpretation, direction, provocation, and yes, even guiding. A curatorial teacher acknowledges the autonomy of learners, yet understands the frustration of exploring unknown territories without a map. A curator is an expert learner. Instead of dispensing knowledge, he creates spaces in which knowledge can be created, explored, and connected. While curators understand their field very well, they don’t adhere to traditional in-class teacher-centric power structures. A curator balances the freedom of individual learners with the thoughtful interpretation of the subject being explored.

While “curator” carries the stigma of dusty museums, the metaphor is appropriate for teaching and learning. The curator, in a learning context, arranges key elements of a subject in such a manner that learners will “bump into” them throughout the course. Instead of explicitly stating “you must know this”, the curator includes critical course concepts in her dialogue with learners, her comments on blog posts, her in-class discussions, and in her personal reflections. As learners grow their own networks of understanding, frequent encounters with conceptual artifacts shared by the teacher will begin to resonate.

In CCK08/09, Stephen and I produced a daily newsletter where we highlighted discussions, concepts, and resources that we felt were important. As the course progressed, many students stated they found this to be a valuable resource -a centering point of sorts. Criticism was directed at our curatorial activities with concerns voiced that we were only selecting resources that supported our views. This wasn’t the case. We drew attention to both supportive and critical views. However, The Daily was not the only source of information for learners in the course. In the Daily, we aggregated blog posts and twitter posts as well. More on that when we consider aggregation.

Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking

How do individuals make sense of complex information? How do they find their way through a confusing and contradictory range of ideas? To address this, I’ll turn to Darken’s concept of wayfinding. Darken’s work is based on large virtual worlds, but I think it translates well to the challenges we face in making sense of fragmented information. When I first started learning about the internet (pre-web days), I felt like I had stepped into a alternate realm with its own norms of behaviour and conduct. Bulletin boards and chat rooms presented a challenging mix of navigating social protocols while developing technical skills.

By engaging with these conversation spaces – and forming a few tentative connections with others – I was able to find a precarious foothold in the online medium. After a period of time, I was able to navigate the space fairly effortlessly. When a new technology appeared, such as blogs, my existing knowledge base enabled me to recognize potential uses. With a bit of background of html, ftp, and webhosting, I was able to use Pyra’s Blogger service to post to my own domain. I found my way through personal trial and error.

Today’s social web is no different – we find our way through active exploration. Designers can aid the wayfinding process through consistency of design and functionality across various tools, but ultimately, it is the responsibility of the individual to click/fail/recoup and continue.

Fortunately, the experience of wayfinding is now augmented by social systems. Social structures are filters. As a learner grows (and prunes) her personal networks, she also develops an effective means to filter abundance. The network becomes a cognitive agent in this instance – helping the learner to make sense of complex subject areas by relying not only on her own reading and resource exploration, but by permitting her social network to filter resources and draw attention to important topics. In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.

Aggregating

Aggregation had so much potential. And yet has delivered relatively little over the last decade. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps RSS was too effective. Perhaps we need to spend more time in information abundant environments before we turn to aggregation as a means of making sense of the landscape. Pageflakes, iGoogle, and Netvibes have largely plateaued innovation in aggregation.

During CCK08/09, we used a variety of techniques to pull together fragmented content and conversations: Google alerts, Pageflakes, and grsshopper. The Daily included a list of blog posts tagged with CCK08/09 and any tweets with the course tag. But these are still rudimentary. Techmeme provides a slightly more sophisticated option of grouping broad themes. For the last seven years, I’ve held hope that information visualization (i.e. IBM’s ManyEyes) would provide a solution. After all, why should we do the heavy cognitive work when technology is uniquely suited to analyzing and generating patterns?

Unfortunately, visualization continues to be confined to what we input. I’d like a learning system that functions along the lines of RescueTime – actively monitoring what I’m doing – but then offers suggestions of what I should (or could) be doing additionally. Or a system that is aware of my email exchanges over the last several years and can provide relevant information based on the development of my thinking and work.

With the rise of social media, and with it the attention organizations pay to how their brand is being represented, monitoring services such as Viral Heat are promising. Imagine a course where the fragmented conversations and content are analyzed (monitored) through a similar service. Instead of creating a structure of the course in advance of the students starting (the current model), course structure emerges through numerous fragmented interactions. “Intelligence” is applied after the content and interactions start, not before. This is basically what Google did for the web – instead of fully defined and meta-described resources in a database, organized according to subject areas (i.e. Yahoo at the time), intelligence was applied at the point of search. Aggregation should do the same – reveal the content and conversation structure of the course as it unfolds, rather than defining it in advance.

Filtering

Filtering resources is an important educator role, but as noted already, effective filtering can be done through a combination of wayfinding, social sensemaking, and aggregation. But expertise still matters. Educators often have years or decades of experience in a field. As such, they are familiar with many of the concepts, pitfalls, confusions, and distractions that learners are likely to encounter. As should be evident by now, the educator is an important agent in networked learning. Instead of being the sole or dominant filter of information, he now shares this task with other methods and individuals.

Filtering can be done in explicit ways – such as selecting readings around course topics – or in less obvious ways – such as writing summary blog posts around topics. Learning is an eliminative process. By determining what doesn’t belong, a learner develops and focuses his understanding of a topic. The teacher assists in the process by providing one stream of filtered information. The student is then faced with making nuanced selections based on the multiple information streams he encounters. The singular filter of the teacher has morphed into numerous information streams, each filtered according to different perspectives and world views.

Modelling

During CCK08/09, one of Stephen’s statements that resonated with many learners centers on modelling as a teaching practice: “To teach is to model and to demonstrate. To learn is to practice and to reflect.” (As far as I can tell, he first made the statement during OCC in 2007). Modelling has its roots in apprenticeship. Learning is a multi-faceted process, involving cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions. Knowledge is similarly multi-faceted, involving declarative, procedural, and academic dimensions.

It is unreasonable to expect a class environment to capture the richness of these dimensions. Apprenticeship learning models are among the most effective in attending to the full breadth of learning. Apprenticeship is concerned with more than cognition and knowledge (to know about) – it also addresses the process of becoming a carpenter, plumber, or physician.

What cannot be communicated and understood by lecture and learning activities alone can be addressed through modelling by the teacher.

Persistent Presence

An educator needs a point of existence online – a place to express herself and be discovered: a blog, profile in a social networking service, Twitter, or (likely) a combination of multiple services. What do you do when you meet someone? Most likely, you search for them in Google. Having recently relocated to Alberta, I used Google to gain a sense of my children’s teachers, the social media network in Edmonton, colleagues at work, meetups, democamps, etc.

Without an online identity, you can’t connect with others – to know and be known. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance of have a presence in order to participate in networks. To teach well in networks – to weave a narrative of coherence with learners – requires a point of presence. As a course progresses, the teacher provides summary comments, synthesizes discussions, provides critical perspectives, and directs learners to resources they may not have encountered before. In CCK08/09, we used The Daily, the connectivism blog, elearnspace, OLDaily, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, Second Life, and numerous other tools to connect with learners. Persistent presence in the learning network is needed for the teacher to amplify, curate, aggregate, and filter content and to model critical thinking and cognitive attributes that reflect the needs of a discipline.

Still at the start…

I’m often surprised when I hear a declaration of web company’s birthday – Facebook at six years, Youtube at five years. It seems like these tools have been around much longer. Teaching and learning in social and technological networks is similarly surprising – it’s hard to imagine that many of the tools we’re using are less than a decade old (the methods of learning in networks are not new, however. People have always learned in social networks).

We’re still early in many of these trends. Many questions remain unanswered about privacy, ethics in networks, and assessment. My view is that change in education needs to be systemic and substantial. Education is concerned with content and conversations. The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality.

39 Responses to “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks”

  1. [...] Connectivism ruminator, has explored the idea of teacher as a curator previously, and it has come up again today courtesy of a tweet from @hjarche. Even though I was a participant in CCK08, and marginally [...]

  2. Chris says:

    This is an interesting article. The teacher is simply one of many providers of information to the students. Then collaboratively the teacher and student produce education as the product after engaging in a healthy dialog about the quantity and quality of information presented in class. The teacher needs to see him/herself as a student and as a facilitator in the classroom. My main concern is time and the standard assessments lack of compatibility with the role of technology in the classroom. How do you brindge the gap between high stake test and high tech in the classroom?

    • gsiemens says:

      Hi Chris – I don’t think high stakes testing and high tech are in contradiction with each other – high tech actually makes standardization easier. The real issue is high stakes testing and distributed, social, networked learning. Socialization and participatory pedagogy doesn’t have the same scalability as LMS-driven learning.

    • Chris, I like what you are saying about healthy dialog and the teacher seeing her/himself as a learner. I would add that students need to re-visualize their role s a learner teacher. I like what Stephen said in his post Learning 2.0 “[Learning content] is aggregated by students, using their own personal RSS reader or some similar application. From there, it is remixed and repurposed with the student’s own individual application in mind, the finished product being fed forward to become fodder for some other student’s reading and use.” I know this post isn’t about learning in social networks. My only point in saying this is to share my view that to learn in social networks we also have to teach in social networks. They are complimentary roles.

  3. [...] Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections, and so on. via connectivism.ca [...]

  4. Michael Rowe says:

    Hi George. Thanks once again for a great post. While I agree with much of what you say, I’m becoming increasingly aware of a widening gap between education in the developed world and the rest of us. In particular, I’m wary of the increasingly popular notion that the average student is constantly connected, is an independent learner, etc.

    In my (admittedly limited) teaching experience in South Africa, I’ve found exactly the opposite. Forget constantly connected…I just ran a workshop where I had to explain to a group of postgraduate students what it means to highlight text in a word processor. I want to run courses with my students where we have distributed conversations using content as a structural framework, rather than a piece of work to be memorised. But my students have never heard of Twitter (most have never heard of blogs or wikis either), and many of them are content to sit in class and passively “receive” content.

    I worry that we’re at a point where we’re already worlds apart, and I only see developed nations accelerating away from us. I struggle with ethical issues around expecting students to participate in blog-based assignments (e.g. http://www.mrowe.co.za/physioblog) , where many students don’t have access at home, disadvantaging them against the ones who do. On the other hand, I believe that they must be exposed to these tools. Do I continue to push these tools because I see the enormous potential, or do I sit back and wait for my students to catch up?

    Anyway, I just wanted to make the point that having conversations where absolute statements around the technological proficiency and learning strategies of “today’s students” misses the point that many of them don’t seem to be even close to those ideals.

    Thanks again for an insightful post that has challenged my thinking around these ideas.

    • gsiemens says:

      Hi Michael – thanks for your comments. I’m currently involved in delivering a course to African university leaders on emerging tech. Somewhere between technological failure, culture, and participatory pedagogy, things aren’t working well. And you are absolutely right about developed countries accelerating away from developing countries. Technology often builds on previous iterations. Occasionally – as with mobiles – we can jump a previous technology (land lines) altogether. Countries that are now struggling with poor connectivity will continue to suffer as bandwidth increases in other countries and multi-media use grows.

      • Your struggles with “technology failure”, “culture”, and “participatory pedagogy” reminded me of what Bonk (2009) refers to as infrastructure, content (i.e., online responsitories and the like), and a culture of sharing in that all three are needed in developing an online learning community that involves technology.

        In my experience working with other universities through virtual language exchanges, challenges arise when one of the following are missing: 1) infrastructure (e.g., poor connection speed, harddrive crashes, etc.), 2) understanding of technology (e.g., knowing how to configure Skype, etc.), and 3) culture of collaboration and openness among educators (e.g., teachers collaborating with each other and with students). Addressing these three essential concepts will help create a learning community that is not bound to a single classroom, but rather reaches out to both the local and global community – including other institutions. Although the technological gap may exist between developing and developed countries, without the above, it’s difficult if not impossible to carry out an educative experience that is relevant and meaningful for each-and-every student.

  5. Roy Williams says:

    Hi Michael, I know the frustrations of trying to establish policies and funding for internet access in South Africa, so some responses …

    1. Speed is the new divide, that’s the bad news. Everyone has access, but it may take days (a bit like the old public and party line telephones, so, plus sa change … )

    2. The good news is that mobile access is pervasive, although 3G mobile surely has a way to go here in the UK, and I dont know what the postion is in SA. Maybe the Shuttleworth foundation should put some ideas and money into 3G, or into a hybrid technology, to provide a new twitostructure (tweet-infrastructure) for educational networking.

    • gsiemens says:

      Hi Roy – speed does seem to be a new divide. The difficulty with this is that it results in an increased divide over time. When new tech builds on the affordances of old, speed and time influence future capacity. If you’re not involved in the discussion today, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll not be in it tomoro (duh). We held a mobile learning conference at U of M earlier in the year. One of the wireless carriers that presented said we were a year or so away from 30-70 mbs data on mobile. If that’s the case, then, yes, the mobile option will help address current weaknesses. But, human capacity and innovation matters as much as tech capacity.

  6. Paul Ruth says:

    Hello,

    This was a very cool post and I have been thinking the same about a lot of the same things. In fact I just started a new site that has the aim of opening the socail communications. It is a group of forum focused on different topics. It is based on the philosohy of Dewey, and think you might find it interesting.

    (Expand the discussion at a new site, http://www.theneweducationnetwork.com, where we seek to open the lines of communication to better the system.)

  7. Keith Hamon says:

    This captures quite nicely the emergence of rhizomatic connect-and-collaborate structures as a complement to and often a replacement for hierarchical command-and-control structures.

    And I appreciate Michael Rowe’s comment about those millions of students who do not yet have reliable access to modern networks; however, I would counter that we are quickly moving toward almost universal connectivity. As Mark Pesce noted in one of his posts, in the one decade between 1995 and 2005, the world shifted from less than half having ever made a phone call to over half owning a cell phone. Just this month, a UN agency predicted that world-wide use of cell phones would swell to five billion, due mainly to the huge increase in smart phones and better infrastructure in under-developed nations. While we are all impatient for progress, in historical terms, this is happening in the blinking of an eye.

    As an educator who wants to educate, I’m encouraged that so many more people are now able to connect. That’s good news, for soon perhaps, we educators will have to connect and collaborate with our students, having lost those hierarchical structures that force-feed them into our command and control classes. The rules of engagement will change, and we need to understand how. This post gives us some good rules of thumb.

    • gsiemens says:

      Thanks Keith. I’m not convinced that everyone agrees that the rules of engagement will change. I’m quite comfortable saying that they already have :) . The core of the change is in connections: more people connected to each other and have access to content. This simple reality of this premise is what will form the foundation of future education systems. Extrapolating current trends to systemic consequences is important…

  8. [...] Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism [...]

  9. I’m struck by how apprenticeship keeps cropping up in much of what I’ve been reading these days, as if we are coming full circle. And it’s not hard to see the apprenticeship model for every classroom in the sense that teachers are the master learners (as opposed to master content experts) and their students are their apprentices in learning, not knowledge. Nothing earth shattering there, I know, but your post helped me clarify it more.

    • gsiemens says:

      Hi Will – interesting, isn’t it, that one of the older models of learning is the one that makes the most sense. Technology returns us to our social roots. Guess it only makes sense that it also returns us to social learning models.

  10. David Truss says:

    I think your list of 7 roles is excellent and I’ll be reflecting on these for a while.

    An interesting side-note, when you said,
    …The model falls apart when we distribute content and extend the activities of the teacher to include multiple educator inputs and peer-driven learning. Simply: social and technological networks subvert the classroom-based role of the teacher.
    It came to mind that what’s really being subverted is not so much the classroom-based role as it is the teacher-controlled learning. We can take the 7 roles you mentioned:
    1. Amplifying
    2. Curating
    3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking
    4. Aggregating
    5. Filtering
    6. Modelling
    7. Persistent presence
    …and argue that teachers did this ‘to’ the content and ‘to’ their students.

    As you say:
    For educators, control is being replaced with influence. Instead of controlling a classroom, a teacher now influences or shapes a network.
    I think that is the principal difference… Teachers used to subvert the content, that was their role, to decide how to deliver and how to instill learning ‘as they saw best’, and now their role in a networked learning environment is to be overt about the sensemaking and about their role in the students’ network and the students’ learning journey.

    • Tracey Anne Fisher says:

      Well put.

      There is no limiting information or learning (whether intentional or unintentional), now there is guiding. The sort of discourse this process lends to will only enhance the teacher’s traditional role “as model, encourager, supporter, guide, synthesizer”.

  11. June Holley says:

    Just to add an additional role: network weaver. Increasingly, teachers will help students connect with others. Sometimes this may mean helping students form generalized learning networks. Other times, this may mean connecting students who are interested in specific topics, helping them self-organize into peer learning clusters. So, for example, a group of students may form a collaborative work group around better understanding a particular book.

    Any student may be in dozen of small learning clusters.

    How can teachers help them form? How can teachers help clusters access expertise for the discussions?

    Haven’t seen social networking sites that are good at this. Twitter has hashtags to help people form clusters, and even has some simultaneous chats being set up on specific sets of questions, but still looking for a place that says” When at least 3 people sign up for a discussion on x, I’ll set up a skype call.”

    • Tracey Anne Fisher says:

      June, Social bookmarking sites (like delicious.com) offer that sort of organization.

    • desiree haan says:

      Hi June,
      We work wirh VAL(Virtual action Learning). We have students form 16 till 22 and they work in a group/team (a should say community) because there goal is the learn form each other and not a grade or anything!! We are not specifically teachers but they can ask for help for practically problems. What we do is help them working in a community. How to work together ect.

  12. [...] we need to rethink the role of those adults once again, and that we’re coming full circle. George Siemens had a great post last week about “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks” and he asked the same [...]

  13. Thomas Clancy says:

    In regard to the final thought below — “how do educators teach in networks?” — maybe we need to change the question, as “teach” implies the authoritarian model. Asking “how do educators help students learn in networks?” might better express the teacher’s stance in the 21st-century hybrid classroom.

  14. [...] to teaching: Thought-provoking blog (as usual) from George Siemens and chat transcript over at weblogg (ed) moderated by Will [...]

  15. [...] that we need to rethink the role of those adults once again, and that we’re coming full circle. George Siemens had a great post last week about “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks” and he asked the same question [...]

  16. [...] Maybe the biggest thing to realize is we can’t control how our learners use the podcasts. George Seimens puts it this way: For educators, control is being replaced with influence. Instead of controlling a classroom, a teach… [...]

  17. [...] ctscho The ether is recently re-focusing on teachers and teaching, what with George Seimen’s Teaching in Social and Technological Networks and Will Richardson’s Teachers as Master [...]

  18. [...] Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism [...]

  19. [...] do influence or shape networks for learning in this connected world in which we now live  (See George Siemens blog on Teaching in Social and Technological [...]

  20. [...] on the teacher as a master learner, inspired by some observations from George Siemen’s post ‘Teaching in Social and Technological Networks’. This snippet gives an idea of what Will means by the teacher as a ‘Master Learner’: [...]

  21. Good thoughts here. I recall about 5 years ago in an online graduate course the instructor (prof) was concerned there was little posting in the online discussion board. I had the chance to explain to her that we were working very hard outside the LMS -she just couldn’t see it. Some of us created a virtual study group that emailed, phoned, and had biweekly meetings in Elluminate. Along side of this, we were studying, reading and writing on our own.

    It struck me that the online instructor needed to ’see’ us working. There was another professor that thought we should be visibly in the LMS for 3 hours a week like on-campus students! groan.

    However, I am of the same mind that we need to get out of the way of our learners. Instead we should focus on the end (or middle) and determine what we want our students to learn and how we will assess that. After determining that then provide the structures.

    Your ideas, George, would freak out the most confident instructor and student. However, these ideas are the future in learning. I think sound guidance on ‘how to do this’ would be important for users of a more loose learning format, as well as reinforcing how we already use technology to some degree in this way. Paradigm shifting ain’t easy for anyone.

    • gsiemens says:

      Hi Kelly – yes!! “It struck me that the online instructor needed to ’see’ us working.”

      The conceptual change required to move outside of an LMS and toward more distributed learning approaches is best experience in practice. It’s quite difficult to understand what’s required when it is experienced through discussion, rather than action.

  22. [...] Quintana, en su blog Nodos Ele, comenta un reciente post de Georges Siemens sobre “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks” (7 roles que un profesor podría desempeñar en un entorno de aprendizaje en [...]

  23. [...] for teaching in rich, networked learning environments. An early proponent of this connection was George Siemens (short presentation here on Leigh’s blog). It’s also a role that has been talked about [...]

  24. [...] the post about moving from a gatekeeping to a curating role in the entertainment industry. I know George Siemens and others have been suggesting that a curating role for a teacher is a useful way of moving [...]

  25. [...] at times some of the exchanges do seem to be conversations. I am also learning more about how my practices are shifting as I attempt to teach in this networked environment. Lately however, I find myself asking more and [...]

  26. [...] George. “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks”. http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=220> Accessed March 3, [...]

  27. [...] George Siemens, with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University. who wrote a post “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks.” [...]