Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What Is an Educator?

So, Ning is planning to remain free for educators.

Which begs the question: what's an educator?

I guess in the past it's been easy enough to say that an educator is a classroom teacher. But, as the role of both classrooms and teachers are finding themselves caught in the upheaval of change, we might ask if that definition really cuts it anymore.

Is a homeschooler an educator?

Is a private tutor an educator? (Isn't that what Aristotle did?)

Is a private online teacher/mentor/guru an educator?

What about school librarians?


Enrichment coordinators?

Folks working in the education departments of museums? archives? new media and digital collections?

DIY teachers who post how-to videos on YouTube?

What is an educator? How do we define this role? And not just so that we can score (or maintain) free Ning accounts, but so that we know more about what we are talking about when we are talking about education.

1 comment:

  1. I just hope we don't think that there is, will be or should be one universal definition of "educator" that applies in every situation. That's not how the English language works or is meant to work.

    I understand your want for a more open definition of the term, but even if Ning decides on a definition with a smaller circumference, and even if media outlets latch onto that definition, don't let it define us as educators.

    Without getting all Hollywood on ya, we are who we inspire. Whether or not Ning decides we deserve a free Ning does not define the work we do with our students.


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