In this paper Learning and Knowing in Networks: Changing roles for Educators and Designers by Geroge Siemens:
de Laat (2006) highlights the current paucity of understanding: “More systematic research in the role and perceived role of the teacher in networked learning environments would be desirable” (p. 174). Until this research is conducted, metaphors, as suggested above, which approximate or suggest potential roles may serve well as interim guidelines.
I have also suggested in my blog: https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/role-of-teacher-a-to-z/#comments on such research.
Would you be interested in conducting research into the role of the teacher (or educator) in networked learning environments? How about conducting a research and discussion on this within our Community http://connectivismeducationlearning.ning.com ?