Trying to Change My Teaching Role

Judging from my teaching during the last semester I am edging slowly towards the new role for the instructor as espoused by Mark Pesce below. Instead of feeding my students my favourite links to resources I had them discover the resources for themselves. Did it work? Yes, in part. Perhaps 80% of my semester 083 cohort had good searching skills and collected useful resources, and some even blogged the links. It seems I have to refine my own approach and will do so when next I have a suitable teaching opportunity – in two semesters’ time.

The role of the instructor has changed as well; as recently as a few years ago the lecturer was the font of wisdom and source of all knowledge – perhaps with a companion textbook. In an age of Wikipedia, YouTube and Twitter this no longer the case. The lecturer now helps the students find the material available online, and helps them to make sense of it, contextualizing and informing their understanding. even as the students continue to work their way through the ever-growing set of information. The instructor can not know everything available online on any subject, but will be aware of the best (or at least, favorite) resources, and will pass along these resources as a key outcome of the educational process. The instructors facilitate and mentor, as they have always done, but they are no longer the gatekeepers, because there are no gatekeepers, anywhere.

From Mark Pesce ‘Inflection Points

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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