I had an epiphany on the way home from work yesterday....
I see 3 roles that eduators play that will allow us to adapt to the changes in our environment:
Librarian - Librarians gather, collect, and categorize resources to help you answer the question / do the task at hand.
Editor - Editors help people organize information in ways that make sense, eliminating the irrelevant.
Cheerleader - Cheerleaders motivate and engage the audience.
Trainers and instructional developers play these roles every day - usually in combination.
I know that when I create new training material the first thing I do is figure out what the training thing needs to accomplish. This is an editorial function.
Next, I marshall my resources. Not just books - experts, tools, graphics, movies, web sites, anything I can get my hands on to achieve the goal. Librarians are fabulous resource collectors. With the amount of information out there, we should be too.
Once I have most of what I need, I start organizing the material into something that makes sense to me and, hopefully, to others. Again, an editorial function.
We can then use our cheerleading skills to encourage people to work with us through the learning process. We play cheerleader every time we give feedback, engage the audience, and motivate the student to explore more.
I see the mentoring function we perform as a cheerleader role too. How many of you remember the inane chants from your college football games? The cheerleaders mentored you towards that learning.
From what I've seen - educators are the best at combining these three functions and we can use these skills to insert ourselves into this new world of wikis, blogs, webs, and rapid change.