Sunday, November 09, 2008

Formal CCK08 2nd paper. Shorter version.

The point of emphasis of this Second Paper is that of the Educator. Why? Because I've taught for several years, 20 or more, while I just "designed" my first online Community of Practice site BaeL(1) last March 08. There, as well as in our YH bael-PC group (2), I model what I preach.

The roles of educators are changing as shown by Tom Woodward (3) in the following video.


The changing roles of the educators are many, as evidenced in this conversation (4). Depending on the context, the name and actual activities of the educator varies. Examples:

In ScholMAX (5)the roles are: Educator, Special Education Assistant, Plan Specialist, Reading Tutor and Teacher Aid.

According to SchoolNet (6)the roles of an ICT teacher are:

1.- Learning Mediator. 2.- Interpreter and Designer of Learning Programs and Materials. 3.- Leader.  4.- Scholar, Researcher and Lifelong Learner. 5.- Community, Citizenship and Pastoral Role.         6.- Assessor and 7.- Learning area/subject Specialist. 

The role I put forward, which brings me to my father, is the role of Lurer. In order to lure somebody you clip_image003[4]need to spare some time first to investigate your targeted person or group. You need to get involved first to find out hopes, desires, expectations, incentives, limitations, needs,  interests, activities, etc.  In sum, all that may be attractive for them. You also have to rely on the resources that you have and on the resources that your learners have access to and be creative to deliver the content you want to share.

The term Lurer also implies a decoy or a foolish way to achieve an outcome, this attitude also goes with me. If I have fun while learning, "my learners" or co-learners will have fun too while learning along with me. I'm usually learning what I'm teaching, the only difference between me and my learners is that maybe I have read a bit more on the subject or I have given a few more clicks to the tool we're using.  When I try to use the tool, I laugh at myself and my clumsiness. Most of all, I give priority to the content I want to deliver regardless the selected tool while I listen to my learners shifting needs.

clip_image004[4]During Nancy White (7)wonderful session (8), she showed us a shared,  give and take, approach to education. So far, she has been the liveliest presenter in CCK08 course. I really enjoy her remarks to Stephen! Nancy also posted an Online Community Purpose Checklist (9)truly worth reading.

Another proposal comes from Jokay Wollongong (10), she created Jokaydia(11) in SL.

clip_image005[4]She left a laptop open in SL, when someone asked what game it was she investigated their needs. Then she invited the teacher to visit SL with her and showed, in site, what could be done to teach that subject. The ones hooked were given avatars and a project to bring their students to SL. Clever ha! She's participating in the Learning Technologies 2008 Conference (12)

Depending on the context, the name and actual activities of the educator varies.

We need to evaluate very carefully the context. It's not the same to lure and adult than to lure a kid. With kids, safety comes first. Tom Whyte (13) started an interesting thread (14) asking if connectivism can be used for K-12 classroom. While we wait for responses, let me tell you that I see that the role of the educator in that particular context is as Gate Keeper or Guardian Angel. This role applies also when your learners are complete beginners even if they are adults.

Angeles Berman(15), who is "Teaching the Teachers" at her site "Maestrantes 2008" (16), has a group of teachers who are doing their Master Degree in Pedagogy and Education Practice with her. Some of them did not clip_image006[4]know how to use the Internet and it's really a joy to see them posting their work at their Community as well as at their Wiki(17).

I invite you to react as I did. While I couldn't shake off my father's authority, as many of you cannot shake your School Board, I lured him! So... start luring people!

I'll leave you with the important questions raised at the Moodle forum thread (18) started by Sui Fai John Mak (19)

Changing Roles Questions John's


  1. Maru del Campo, 2008. "Becoming an e-Learner" Learning Community. "BaeL"
  2. Maru del Campo, 2008. "bael-pc YH Group" Mailing List.
  3. Tom Woodward, 2006."Education Today and Tomorrow" Henrico Co. YouTube video.
  4. I Kant et al, 2008. "Role for Educators" Moodle thread. CCK08 course.
  5. SchoolMAX, 2008. "Additional Educator Roles"
  6. SchoolNet SA and SCOPE, 2008. "ICT and the Roles of Educators".
  7. Nancy White, 2008. "Full Circle Associates"
  8. Nancy White, November 5th 2008. "Week 9. CCK08 Elluminate Recording"
  9. Nancy White, 2008. "Online Community Purpose Checklist"
  10. Jocay Wollogong, 2008 "Virtual Worlds - Community - Second Life Rentals Blog"
  11. Jokay Wollongong, 2008. "Jokaydia Flicker photo's collection"
  12. Learning Technologies Conference, 2008.[12]
  13. Tom Whyte, 2008. "Where Old Meets Now"
  14. Tom Whyte, 2008 "Reality Check" Moodle Thread. CCK08 course.
  15. Angeles Berman, 2007- 2008. "My Learning Zone"
  16. Angeles Berman, 2008. "Maestrantes 2008. Universidad Pedagógica Nacional" Community of Practice.
  17. Angeles Berman, 2008. "Institución y Práctica Docente" 
  18. Sui Fai John Mak, 2008. "Teaching the Teachers: A key to Student Success" Moodle thread. CCK08 course.
  19. Sui Fai John Mak, 2008. "Suifaijohnmak's Weblog"
  20. clip_image001[20]clip_image001[18]clip_image001[16]clip_image001[14]clip_image001[10]clip_image001[8]clip_image001[6]




Sarah Stewart said...

Interesting post about luring - sounds a bit spooky though :)

I agree teachers need to be all manner of things to students in order to engage them with learning. But life does get complicated when you throw in the power relations that naturally occur with assessment. I have tried all manner of ways of 'being' with my undergraduate students, but when I 'fail' them for what ever reason, everything goes out of the window and its each man for himself. Still not sure how to manage that, so suggestions are gratefully receieved.

Angeles Berman said...

Thank you Maru for including us in your post.
The teachers in the Cop are so happy you join us and waiting for doing a lot of questions to you.

Maru said...

Hi Angeles!

On the contrary, thanks for the great job your doing with your group of teachers and for the invitation to join. I'm very happy to have a chance to be in touch with Mexican Educators.

I'll drop by to leave you a slide presentation and notes I took last September when George Siemens gave us a kind talk at Connectivitas site in Second Life.

See you soon!
Besos and hugs to the "CoPs" please.

Maru said...

Hi Sara!

Thanks for your feedback.
I'm afraid I need a bit of clarification. Why does it sound spooky?

I'm not sure I get the following phrases:

1.-"complicated when you throw in power relations that naturally occur with assessment". Could you tell me more?

2.- "When I fail them for whatever reason, everything goes out of the window and its each man for himself" Could you give an example of something perceived as "failure" bu your students?

I don't know how to explain this. I'm not more powerful that my online learners because we all have similar levels of ignorance, I'm learning WITH them and FROM them. I'm not a vessel of knowledge, each has a small niche of expertise and that's what we share.

If they ask me to do something out of my reach I simply say "I don't know, let's find out how"; we all go and try to make in happen.

I'm extra careful with my promises off line and online. When I make a promise I usually keep it or half die in the attempt to do so. Hence, I seldom make promises because they're harmful to my health :-)

If I cannot comply, hold an arranged appointment or if I have to be absent because I'm ill I just explain to the group and ask them to continue with the tasks we agreed on.
When there is someone willing to cover my spot he or she jumps in without my asking.

With teenagers or undergraduates I just make sure they get why I'm "failing". I'm failing due to circumstances not because I don't care.

A key point here is that I don't evaluate or assess, I rather I set devices to see by ourselves if we're learning and how well. No one can tell you if you learned or not, the best judge is yourself. What I can offer is feedback.

Another issue is that I don't try ways of "being", I just am. I try to do what I preach, some follow some don't. Learners know I have my moods.

I'm not sure if all this rumbling is any help. I'll visit your blog.
See you in a bit.

Kristina DC Hoeppner said...

Hi Maru,

Thanks for the comprehensive list of different roles of educators / teachers. These are certainly interesting, and I think we do not only have one role but many, maybe sometimes packaged all together, sometimes only one or a dominant one.

In your shorter version of your paper I miss the connection to your father. It gets lost as you refer to him only once (right where the picture is), but you had not mentioned him before. Thus, the lurer aspect is not as well fleshed out as in your initial post in my opinion.

It's certainly an interesting concept as it has a secretive aspect to it that is not entirely positive. A lot of times, at least in my understanding of the term, luring is used to make people do something they would never do on their own as it goes against their principles and the things they should do are not always good for them, e.g. to lure sb. into a dark alley. I just found a reference in Webster supporting my feeling: "lure implies a drawing into danger, evil, or difficulty through attracting and deceiving". That's certainly not the luring you mean. Difficult English language. As I'm not a native either, I don't have a great idea for a possibly better word to use. All seem to have a somewhat negative implication attached to them.

Maru said...

Hi Kristina!

Thanks for your feedback and praise. You're right of the first point. For the sake of keeping it under the limited amount of words I somewhat severed the connection with my father. Let me see what can I do about it.

When you say(Lurer)"it has a secretive aspect to it that is not entirely positive". You are totally on target, that's the key issue. "luring is used to make people do something they would never do on their own"

When you are enticing your colleagues or learners to use web 2.0 tools that's where they are standing, they think that it's not convenient for them, that they'll get into trouble. The last bit is absolutely true. They'll get into trouble at the beginning! They'll have to invest time sitting in front of a computer which nowadays is not seen as a healthy habit.

You're luring them into something they believe is wrong! Arent' you?
You want them to use web 2.0 tools and they look at you as if you were a dangerous nutcase.

Once hooked they'll see that it is FUN, that it saves time, gets the sharing going and brings people closer.

Wonderful conversation! Thanks!

See you around. :X

Nancy White said...

Maru, in the facilitation world, an alternative term is "invitation." It has been long recognized in that domain that it is often more successful to invite people in rather than to require them. And that the quality of the invitation matters -- how do we make it irresistible?

For me, this then goes to the quality of the question you are asking people to engage in. You might enjoy some of the work the "Art of Hosting" community has done around invitation.

Sarah Stewart said...

When I hear the word 'lure' I think of an evil witch luring innocent chidren into her cottage with sweets, with them ending up in her cooking pot :)

My comments about power and the effect on my relationships with students was based on my experiences with my undergraduate midwifery students. I have found in the past that when I mark their assignments or exams, and they get a 'fail' mark, or, if I have to 'tell them off' in a supervisory relationship, then things do not go so well. So it doesn;t matter what 'teaching style' I use, students react very badly to the fact I have the power to affect their progress in their course.

Kristina DC Hoeppner said...

Hello Maru,

You write in your comment: "You're luring them into something they believe is wrong!"

That may be true, but you know that it is fun and great etc. A true lurer in my opinion knows what he does is actually wrong and harmful. I think that is where the danger lies. You are not that kind of person. ;-)

Nancy's concept of "invitation" is interesting and definitely more positive. However, it does not capture, at least for me, what you try to convey through the concept of "lurer".