Changing Roles of Learner and Teacher

To address the question “How would one differentiate between learners and teachers/facilitators in the context of participatory learning and Web 2.0?” I am going to quote a passage from the John Seely Brown book, A New Culture of Learning to answer this question.  “In the new culture of learning, people learn through their interaction and participation with one another in fluid relationships that are the result of shared interests and opportunity.”

After reading the interview article I went out to and bought the Kindle version of the book and had it delivered to my Android tablet and was reading it within a few minutes. <– Excellent example of why I love technology.  I’m about 40% of the way through the book and it’s a good read so far.

What do you see as your role in 2025?This is an interesting question and I think that it relates to my reading in Intro to Distance Education this week.  This week we studied the history of distance education.  I was amazed at all of the technologies that have been used in the past to offer distance education to learners.  This relates to the question at hand because there have been so many different ways that people have learned and taught from a distance over the years since the early 1880’s when people started studying at home.  There have been courses by mail, radio, television, open universities, teleconferencing, and now the Internet.

The Internet is growing and changing on a daily basis and as things progress there will be more and more ways to engage in teaching and learning.  I see a lot of mobile interaction among learners in informal ways.  I was thinking this morning, as televisions are now able to stream the Internet, I wonder if courses via television will make a comeback?  I can see with interactive technologies like the Xbox Kinect people taking an interactive course, such as that Intro to CSI course I took awhile back.  I can imagine loading an interactive course and a few classmates interacting to solve a crime, using what they have learned from their reading to actually put into practice what they’ve learned.

I could also see using streaming Internet applications like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon being able to stream lectures in an Open University format.  I was impressed with the Udacity article and seriously considered signing up for the learn how to create your own search engine course.  Can you see something like this being available to stream over the television?  I can and I think some things would be great for entire family learning.  I could see my husband, myself, and my 14 year old son taking that search engine design class together.

I can’t even imagine what will be available for us as teachers and learners in 2025 to even predict my role.  But I can say without question that whatever technologies role my way I’ll try to approach each one with an open mind to evaluate their use and effectiveness within whatever role I’ll be in at that time.

Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). The Historical Context. In M. G. Moore, & G. Kearsley, Distance Education: A systems view of online learning (pp. 23-44). Belmont: Wadsworth.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Kindle Edition.


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