Teacher or Facilitator: Can You be Both Online?

A customer recently commented that the virtual classroom enables them to move from a regimented, formal situation to promoting the use of collaborative groups where kids help each other and teachers are facilitators, not power brokers. This fits right in with the discussions I’ve been seeing that debate the roles of teacher versus facilitator in the eLearning environment.

Here’s the thought-provoking blog entry by Leigh Blackall from New Zealand that started me thinking about this. Turns out this topic is on a lot of teachers’ minds as there were 20 comments posted that last time I looked. Here’s a related blog entry from Graham Wegner in Australia. Like Graham, I like the comment from Canadian middle-school practioner Konrad Glogowski who has the roles meeting somewhere in the middle as content or subject matter expert.

I guess I’m thinking it doesn’t have to be one or the other or the other but rather moving from one to the other to the other, and/or some how blending the roles, depending on the age of the student, the content, the objectives, and so on. Perhaps this is a new area for instructor professional development. What do you think? Like my previous post on online learning communities, this topic would be a great one for an Elluminate webinar. I’d like to hear from you.

– Beth, Elluminate Goddess of Communication

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