If everyone is learning on their own, or with their network, what is the role of the teacher?

In response to Mike’s comments on:


Thanks for your response.  I agree with your views that such change will only happen slowly.  I have been a teacher since 1985, and have experienced a lot of changes in teaching and learning practices during the last 23 years.  Since 2000, I have been doing on-the-job training whereas there are practically no physical classes as such as the Universities.  I started with zero student (trainee) in 2000 to a few hundreds for the past years.  What I found was a fundamental shift in the learning paradigm, where learning is the key to education, rather than teaching.  I know my idealogy will be vehemently opposed by other instructivists, as well as other professional teachers, where they would feel threatened or might worry that they would lose their jobs.  Imagine, if everyone is learning on their own, what is the role of the teacher?  I shared such feelings in 2000, but has now been totally convinced that such thing would only happen if teachers are unwilling to accept and adapt to changes.  That is there is still an important role for every teacher to play, only that teachers must be flexible and proactive in meeting the learner’s needs.  In other words, I think best practice in teaching is based on a learner centred approach, where learner’s needs must come first.  Without learners, why employ teachers?  And without teachers, who would be guiding the learners (especially the kids and teenagers) the “right” values?  So, in summary, teachers must share their experience and knowledge with learners by putting learners first.  Remember, at some time, we were the learners, did we learn from our teachers?  For me, I must admit that I learn best from those teachers who are empathetic, and willing to understand my needs.  These are just my personal reflections, but I hope other teachers could understand why we are moving in such directions – towards a learner centred model of teaching and learning.  Is teaching still a noble profession?  What do you see will be the future of teachers?


Role of educational institutions and structure to support education and learning

This is my response to


It’s important to reflect on the role of educator and educational institutions such as universities and colleges.
I suppose that universities still play an important role in its accreditation of the courses and employment of professionals (professors, instructors, designers etc.) who would continue to serve the learners. I also think that there is a need to inverting the pyramid of hierarchical structure in that learners could be at the peak of the pyramid upon which all educational institutions and their infrastructure, professionals, technology and networks are means to support both education and learning of the individuals and the networks.
This could be a huge challenge to both the educational institutions, teaching and supporting professionals, networks and society. In this connection, both formal and informal education becomes the pillar of every individual and network, with the ultimate goal of serving the needs of the individuals and society.

My questions is: Do you think this would happen?

See Gina’s article http://gminks.edublogs.org/2008/10/22/the-cost-of-supporting-collaborative-project-spaces/ in which I also find interest in.

Her quote below:

However, is it possible some of this ties back to costs? I am pursuing my Master’s degree at a State University. Since the University is funded by the state, the institution has a responsibility to act in a responsible fiscal manner. Providing on on ramp to the Internet, creating the project spaces, and maintaining all of these things costs money. You have to pay for the servers, the cables, data storage arrays, software, and for the people to run and support all of this. Some of the “walling” must also come because there is a limit to what can be supported, and who can be allowed to access the tools.

Additionally, if someone is paying to go to that institution, they should be afforded priority access to University’s on ramp to the Superhighway. That doesn’t mean one person should get the biggest lane, which is way access to some tools such as Bit Torrent is restricted.

My question is: Are there any need of differentiated strategies in terms of customers’ contribution to the institutions as mentioned by Gina?  How does it impact on the educational infrastructure?  And what are the “costs” and “value” (the qualifications in particular) to both individuals and society?

Complexity Theory of Learning – Our learning ecology, environment and technology affordance

This is my response to pierfranco ravotto http://teacker.blogspot.com/

I like your summary of the views. At times, I realise that learning itself is both complex and chaotic mainly because of the world we are living in, with that plenty of technology affordance, “attractions” and “distractions” that lead us to think in such a way. If I were to live 100 hundred years ago, would it be the same? So my view is that context, environment, learning ecology and the network that one and the network is involved in will all shape our perspectives on the complexity and chaotic “nature of learning”. Do we have the “chicken first or the egg first?” I would reckon the environment (or the learning ecology) will shape our thoughts, whereas our perspectives will also shape the “thinking” and “direction” of the network. There are impacts and influence both from individuals and networks – which shape the learning and social networks, learning ecology, and the world on education and learning.

To what extent do you think an understanding of complexity and chaos could help the teachers in the teaching and learning process?