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Leveraging the human network

Chief Learning Officer has published an article on Leveraging Human Networks to Accelerate Learning: “Networks connect diverse people quickly and easily…Networks can withstand stress and adapt quickly to change…Networks contain a small number of people that have proportionately more influence over the network than others.”
I’m concerned about this article and about recent emphasis on the strictly social network dimension to learning. It’s an incomplete view. Social and external networks show us how people are connected. But they don’t tell us how and why they learn. What goes on cognitively? Why do different people experience different levels of learning even though they have similar connections? How does distributed and networked intelligence differ from a social network? For a leader to know that people learn well when properly connected is an important start. To address situations that require “intervention”, redirection of efforts, and the achievement of planned outcomes requires a far deeper understanding of networks than is evident when only considering social/external networks. I’ll write more on this on my connectivism site.
Hopefully we can address this inadequacy in the upcoming conference Jay Cross has organized (April 21 & 22, 2009). Luis Suarez and I will be discussing “learning in an era of networked intelligence.

One Comment

  1. Maija Aarvo wrote:

    Hi gsiemens,
    I’ve commented on these questions concerning ‘leveraging the human network’ and ‘new criteria for new media’ at my blogsite: I’m fairly new to the field of e-learning, and these questions are very interesting to me.

    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Permalink