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Networked Learning

In a post expressing ideas similar to Wendy Drexler’s Networked Student video, ed4wb contrasts education as traditionally conceived and as it might develop in the future. Several useful diagrams emphasize the type of control shift occurring in how learners access content and participate in conversations. I’ve been a bit bothered lately by how networked learning is increasingly being conceived – i.e. a function of external and social networks. This is the most obvious way to explain learning. For example, I grow my knowledge as I connect to other people and information sources. This is, however, not a complete view of learning. If learning is only about external connections, then how can gradients of understanding be considered? Or how can expertise (yes, it still exists…) be described in relation to novices? If our focus is only on the external act of networking with others, have we moved much beyond behaviourism? We can still use a network metaphor to address this concern, however. As suggested during CCK08 (slide 8-18), learning can be seen as networked in at least three distinct ways: neural, conceptual, and external/social. The underlying structure in each instance is a network, but what is being connected is obviously different in each instance. (via weblogg-ed)

One Comment

  1. Carmen Tschofen wrote:

    Thanks for writing about this, George; the intense focus on the social part of networked learning was something that I wondered about while blogging for CCK08. Situating the other types of connective learning in the context of novice/expert and gradients of learning helps me to put a specific frame around some of my much less articulate intuitions. I do have to wonder how much of the focus on social networks is related to the standardized, traditional or cultural desire for measurable/visible/assessable outcomes. Social networks are obvious; conceptual and neural networks are much harder to grade:-)

    Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink

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