Why Networked Learning?

Jeff Nugent, Joyce Kincannon and I sat down this morning to record a podcast that riffed off of our GRAD-602 class last night.  We had continued our exploration of digital practices, focusing on communication and collaboration. We started last week with a Shirky quote last week on the largest increase in expressive capacity ever.  Another quote that inspires us and aligned with last night:

“In conversation we think out loud together, trying to understand. … The Web releases thoughts before they’re ready so we can work on them together. And in those conversations we hear multiple understandings of the world, for conversation thrives on difference. ” (David WeinbergerEverything is Miscellaneous (2007, p. 203)

podcastIn that spirit, we looked at practices associated with communication, such as email (parodied as the breakthrough communication that opened the professor’s door…but continues to be primarily a broadcast mechanism), video conferencing, and networked communications such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.We then shifted to digital collaboration, noting the overlap in many of these processes / practices we have already covered.  One example we showed was Mike Wesch’s class wiki, tying in student-generated content with tweets and blog posts and empowering students to co-construct their course.

We were trying to move our students beyond new ways to do old things.  Mike Wesch‘s open class offered up new ways to do new things…such as his World Simulation.  Another example of digital imagination is Wikipedia.  At the same time that Microsoft was spending massive dollars to create Encarta – a CD based encyclopedia produced by known experts, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched Wikipedia, letting anyone collaboratively write and share articles.  There are now 4.4 million articles in the English version alone … though Wikipedia is now in 287 languages.  Globally, it is now the fifth most heavily used website.  This departure from “expert-driven” style took digital imagination.

This morning, we discussed the “So What?” question.  What makes networked learning compelling?  Take a listen…and add your thoughts using the comment feature below.

{Photo courtesy of Bud Deihl}

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Piece of My Network

Harold Jarche had an interesting post today on “Leveraging Visualization” that included his LinkedIn Connections.  His map shows lots of nodes amid his distributed connections.

It got me thinking about what my map might look like, so I used LinkedIn Labs website to create my own map:

LinkedIn Map

What is apparent (to me) is that I am a node connecting five different networks, but only two of them are tightly linked.  The yellowish network to the right is VCU related, while the blue and pink networks are edtech related (blue being Edubloggers).  Two institutions I have worked with remain islands in my total networked sea.  Quite different from Harold’s network, and again, it is a piece of my network.  While there are overlaps, many of my Twitter and Facebook connections do not show within this LinkedIn arrangement.

Thoughts?

 

Enhanced by Zemanta