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Educators as Curators

Discover the changing role of educators in digital learning.

In networked learning, educators are no longer the sole source or providers of knowledge but rather, work as guides or curators of learning.

A traditional view of educators as a ‘sage on stage’ no longer holds in digital learning because:

  • Located learning spaces don’t exist.
  • Networks are everywhere and the possibilities for connected learning are unlimited.

As we saw last week, Connectivism sheds light on the ways in which the web makes it impossible for one individual to know everything. In response, the capacity to know how to search for relevant information and create new webs of knowledge becomes critically important.

Likewise, in light of the last few steps where we discussed service design and education as service where a team of people are needed to holistically investigate and provide a range of services for targeted users or learners, it is also important to (re)think the role of educators in digital contexts.

Siemens and Tittenberger extend on this idea:

Curatorial learning 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 learners are free to explore, they encounter displays, concepts, and artifacts representative of the discipline. Their freedom to explore is unbounded. But when they engage with subject matter, the key concepts of a discipline are transparently reflected through the curatorial actions of the teacher.
(2009, p. 31)

This poses significant questions for the emerging and varied roles of educators in digital learning, which may also influence their identity as educators.

For example, for some, becoming a curator or guide of learning may seem less authoritative and powerful when compared to the traditional ideas of an educator.



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Transforming Digital Learning: Learning Design Meets Service Design

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