When our oldest son informed me that he wanted to pursue a career in education I was vehemently opposed. I remember telling him in no uncertain terms that he was wasting his fucking education and that he would most likely starve to death as a teacher. He was academically capable of pursuing just about any field of he desired and that he chose to teach disappointed me beyond belief!
That was then, this is now. It took me some time but I finally realized what I should have known all along, our nation is in desperate need of great teachers. If he was going to teach then god bless him, let him be a damn good one. After all he had chosen a decent and honorable profession, unfortunately just not the most economically rewarding one. Teachers have an awesome responsibility. We entrust them with that which we value most, our children. Perhaps the best and brightest among them will learn to use enabling web technologies in a manner that produces demonstrably excellent results, and forces the greater society to compensate them for the quality social capital that they produce.
Why such a lengthy discussion of teachers and teaching? Because there never has been, nor will there ever be, great learning without great teachers, “e” or otherwise. The eLearning literature is full of technological references with scant mention of the human face behind the browser. The asynchronous and distance mitigating aspects of eLearning ensure it an enduring role in the education of the masses, but only human beings with a strong desire to teach will make it a force to be reckoned with for the good of the many.
The focus should not be first and foremost on process and technology, but on results. Again, from a competitive advantage perspective, which activities of the value chain are likely to yield the best results? One thing is for damn sure, without the human touch, front and center, the results are likely to be disappointing.