Friday, October 14, 2011

Discussion on Networked Learning: #NLC2012 online 'hot-seats'

This week I have been following and somehow contributing a little bit to the online discussion on networked learning  organized by  #NLC2012 ( networked learning conference 2012). There is a series of online discussions prior to the conference facilitated by some researchers and thinkers in the area of networked learning in this Ning group.

Various topics related to networked learning will be covered in theses hotseats by some key persons in networked learning and distance education like Peter Goodyear, David McConnell, Terry Anderson and Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld.

There will be seven weeks total, each week on a topic hosted and facilitated by some people, started already on Oct.10th continued until March 2012 before the conference on April 2-4. The schedule, topics and the hosts are available in the group page. It is all free and everybody interested can join the discussion and all contents will be free and available in the Ning page.

This week the hotseat was with Peter Goodyear , one of first contributors and developers of networked learning, about the definition of the term, some key foundations, examples of leaning networks and researching the architecture of productive learning networks.  There was a good discussion on these topics and so far there were about 140 threads in the discussion. The main topic of the discussion perhaps was about the definition of the term  and what is meant by 'networked learning', also what are the main components of networked learning? How can we research on networked learning and what are the examples of networked learning practices.
Goodyear put some key variations of the definition of the term as follow:

  • learning in which C&IT is used to promote connections: between one learner and other learners, between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources
  • learning that involves people collaborating with the help of networked technologies in a shared enterprise of knowledge creation
  • learning and teaching carried out largely via the Internet/Web which emphasizes collaborative and cooperative learning, learning through dialogue and group work together with interaction with online materials, and collaborative knowledge production
  • learning and teaching carried out largely via the Internet/Web which emphasizes dialogical learning, collaborative and cooperative learning, group work, interaction with on-line materials, and knowledge production
  • the use of Internet-based information and communication technologies to promote collaborative and co-operative connections: between one learner and other learners; between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources, so that participants can extend and develop their understanding and capabilities in ways that are important to them, and over which they have significant control
For me it has a been a question that could we define networked learning without relating it to technology as it was also discussed there, and  is networked learning equal just to learning in networks 'learning networks'? Or the other way around that learning networks are part of the networked learning? I think the latter! In my opinion, creating and developing connections is the main feature of networked learning which is connection between learner and other people, learner and resources and of course learner and communities and networks.

In one discussion thread McConnell introduced this book to come: Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning, Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Lone; Hodgson, Vivien; McConnell , 2011, Springer