Tag Archives: George Siemens

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.

Blast from the Past – George Siemens at TEDxNYED

From 2010, a TED talk from George Siemens, a theorist and author on digital learning.  Siemens is credited with creating the first Massively Open Online Course, though this 2008 creation is rather different in educational pedagogy from the MOOCs of Udacity and Coursera.