Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Module 1 Assignment

Critique Siemens’s “metaphors of educators.”
Siemens’s (2008) four roles of a teacher are the master artist, network administrator, concierge, and curator. The role of the master artist is to create a digital environment where the learners are free to explore and create their own learning experiences. In this setting, the instructor “observes the activities of all students and draws attention to innovative approaches” (Siemens, 2008, p.15).  Students can also collaborate and expand on their learning from their peers and the instructor. As for the educator who is a network administrator, their main role is to show students how to network and collaboratively work together in groups. Once in these groups, students work together to formulate ideas that will assist them in reaching one common goal or outcome for a common objective. The educator who serves as a concierge has the necessary tools in their toolboxes that are readily available for students to use as resources. These resources can be delivered through lectures or web links that will assist students with exploring learning and gaining the necessary knowledge that will continue to support their academic endeavors. The educator who serves as a curator takes on “dual roles: as experts with advanced knowledge of a domain and guides who foster and encourage learner exploration. Educators create learning resources that expose learners to the critical ideas, concepts, and papers within a field” (Siemens, 2008, p. 17).  

Which of these metaphors best describes the role you believe an instructor should take in a digital classroom or workplace?
In order for the instructor to be effective in the digital classroom they will need to take on all four roles that Siemens addresses. The instructor must first create a digital learning environment that is conducive to on-line exploration for all learners. They must also have the necessary skills to set-up networks that will provide students the opportunities to work in collaborative groups in order for them to be successful and reach a common goal. The instructor must also guide student’s thinking. In order to do this, they must impose higher order thinking strategies that will enhance student’s thinking. This can be accomplished through oral and written discussions.

Is there a better metaphor to reflect your view of the role of instructors?
            After reflecting on Siemens’s metaphors about the roles of an educator, I have concluded that all four roles need to be incorporated into the digital classroom. With students entering into the classroom with a wealth of knowledge about technology these roles will help the instructor stay abreast with the continuous changes in the digital arena. This way the instructor and the students will be successful in the classroom.
Please view for more information on what the digital classroom looks like in another part of the country.

Siemens, G. (2008, January 27). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. Paper presented to ITFORUM. Retrieved from
YouTube. (2011, December 21). What is digital classroom and how it works. Retrieved from


  1. Cora,
    Great post! Your statement regarding the importance of incorporating and using each educators' role depending on the digital classroom and course context is right on. Recently, I had the video come across my desk and I thought it appropriate to share with you. It is Corning Glass's vision for the future and it highlights how important it will be for educators to keep abreast of the technological changes and teaching methodologies. I would love to hear what you think about the video!


  2. Cora,
    Excellent post. I definitely agree that the metaphor of an educator needing to be defined differently for the digital classroom. Instead of a combination of all four metaphors, do you see another type of metaphor emerging? Or do you think that it would vary depending on the form of digital learning the students engages in?

  3. Great post! I liked your summary of the different metaphors and the way you see them all as necessary components of great teaching! By the way, do you know how to embed a video in your blog? You just need to get the embed code from the original youtube page- it's under "Share"- and then put the embed code in your post.