I think the role of "the teacher" in the learning environments of the 21st century is best illustrated when we consider McLuhan's observations about the electronic revolution of television: "The electronic revolution of television has made the teacher the provider no longer of information but of insight, and the student not the consumer but the co-teacher, since he has already amassed so much information outside the classroom."
A two key phrases in this statement are the teacher as "provider of insight" and the student as "not the consumer but the co-teacher." The opportunities that social media, Web 2.0 and the technologies we have available to us today can allow students not only to be the co-teacher, but also the creator. Yet, the insight that teachers can offer for students is critical. While technology can greatly enhance our learning environments, it is also necessary to help students become aware of the constructs of technology and software so they can think critically about how they participate and contribute as a digital citizen to the online world. According to media theorist and writer Douglas Rushkoff, we are essentially the product when we engage in social media.