Skip to content

Learning with Networks

Learning with Networks: “Networks allow cost effective ways for us to move learning out beyond the campus or virtual classroom. Networks are not communities of practice in which all members are struggling to develop common solutions to common problems. Rather, networks are diverse, free form and free-flowing resources. Participation within these networks by learners in formal education not only develops lifelong learning skills, but provides cost effective and scalable tools for not only extracting information, but for contributing and building knowledge.”
It’s great to see the network learning theme spread. When I reflect on how rapidly knowledge is growing, society is changing, disciplines are blending and blurring, and our activities are “complexifying”, I can’t think of any model other than networks that is capable of adjusting and reacting at the required pace and manner. But the real problem is not identifying the solution to our current challenges. The real problem rests in implementation. When we move to networks, we need to change pretty much everything else. It’s like a software program that has been written in one language, and we are now trying to write it in another. We can’t simply add on and tweak. In education, we basically have to start over…rethinking curriculum, teaching, learning, the role of technology, and so on. I don’t think we are under enough pressure yet to make changes of that scale.