The Role of Teachers in Digital Ed

Stephen Downes, who co-created the Connectivism course in 2008 that is widely considered the first MOOC, is a prolific writer.  There are numerous blogs where he shares information and discusses his thoughts on emerging trends, often through a connectivist lens (according to Wikipedia, there is debate as to whether Connectivism is a learning theory; two+ years into my doctoral program, this is the first I heard of connectivism, so I am interested to see its merits!).  The writing gets a lot of attention, and brings spirited debate.

So far, with just a brief introduction into his work, my favorite is a recent response to Tony Bates’ fears of computers replacing teachers.  MOOCs are not the primary focus of Bates’ work, but the larger implications of computed education (which appears here as a spectre of behaviorism) are evident, and Downes provides a passionate response to not only the issues Bates addresses, but the problems with several of Bates’ postulates.

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