Building on my ideas – the role of the educator in NGL

Construyendo una torre 2 by rahego, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  rahego 

It is already time to add to my earlier post Knowing Learning and Teaching in NGL – getting started. In this post I had discussed the following:

  • What would be the role of the educator? How would we teach

My role would be to guide my student’s use of NGL tools. Ideally, teach by example (as discussed in my previous post).

To my earlier thoughts I would like to add that any ICT I implement to redefine the learning in my organisation, will need to be underpinned by an effective and relevant pedagogy. Siemen’s article talks about the changing role of the educator under connectivism – where there is a shift from “instructor or institution-controlled teaching to one of greater control by the learner” and also the call for a new pedagogy to match the latest technological advancements that allow for greater social interaction- a pedagogy of participation (2008).

Siemens defines this participator pedagogy as:

“one that does not fully define all curricular needs in advance of interacting with learners. Learners are able to contribute to existing curricula. The organizational work of faculty members does not comprise the entirety of the course content and does not consist of the sole perspective used to filter content. Multiple perspectives, opinions, and active creation on the part of learners all contribute to the final content of the learner experience. This participatory emphasis is reflective of current ongoing trends with online content creation (OECD, 2007b) and with collective approaches to participatory sensemaking (De Jaegher & Di Paolo, 2007). Activities of learning, interpreting the meaning of trends, and creation of new resources can all be achieved through participatory approaches” (2008).

Siemens argues that one of the reasons educators have refrained from moving to this new pedagogy, is the traditional classroom structure. In my organisation, I am lucky to be able to be flexible and undertake learning activities outside of the traditional classroom structure. This is actually encouraged as having to run training classes in our organisation is an expensive activity. There are costs involved in organising a training presenter, booking meeting rooms and supplying training materials and refreshments for the learners in formal training programs. We are encouraged to work learning into daily activities of staff, that is, facilitate ‘on-the-job’ training.


Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning. Actas Do Encontro Sobre Web.