Thinking the network

I may be on sick leave at the moment but I cannot stay on a duck within this blog for another day. So here goes…

Perhaps I’m too ambitious. I want to get everyone in my school (Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies) networked learning. I am often pondering new ways of bringing the unwilling to the table. I’m not talking about the ‘digital natives’ (oh how I dislike the term, but you know what I mean). There are plenty of students for whom meaningful use of ICT in University is very limited and asking them to do more results in the familiar ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look.

So here’s a thing: what does networked learning activity look like?

It’s a bit easier because we’re not talking about what happens inside people’s heads. To be networked learning, it must include something that happens viz someone or something outside of the individual. If you would like to suggest something or comment, I’ve posited this question over on my networkedlearning.blogspot.com but I really dont mind where you end up. Thanks for reading – er… yes that ‘counts’… 😉

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2 thoughts on “Thinking the network

  1. Yes indeed it does Mike.

    I would have thought that analytics might be of assistance in scoping the problem. You can’t of course get any sense of the value (ie quality) of the networked learning, but you would get an idea of who’s participating, and with whom.

    From that point then you’d be able to identify “champions”, work with and through them, show that there’s added value by participation by actively involving yourself in the process as well. By that example, the less-committed will realise that there could be a benefit in participating. If you really believe that there’s benefit, then it will happen [Field of Dreams, yet again]. It takes leadership – I know you’ve that in buckets. It needs inspiration and courage too.

    Those involved in EdTech now know that a VLE is not just something you put course notes into, but should be an active learning community. Networked learning could be said to be achieved when there is measurable activity within your VLE in a many-to-many sense, not one-to-many; when the number of uploads exceeds the number of downloads; when the number of comments and discussion spaces or forums, exceeds the number of emails to the tutor. [NB I’m not a great believer in VLEs however, they appear to be course management rather than learning orientated to me – but what do I know, I’ve not used one recently!]

    None of this is particularly original, but hopefully those in the know might feel inspired to challenge, augment or agree with what I’ve said.

    Is that helpful?

  2. You’ve said what networked learning is not… something that happens in one’s head. But is it what happens when learners talk together in formal or informal situations? Does the learning have to be mediated to make it networked learning?
    One of the big challenges is making obvious what the benefits of codifying learning are. We have a conversation and I think ‘ahh!’. I share my thought with you and we develop the ideas further. Is that networked learning?
    What then would be the benefits and barriers of me writing a blogpost about that conversation. You would probably be very happy, but others might think that what happened between us was private. Moving between private and public can be treacherous for some.
    Hope that helps!

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