Network Literacy; McClure and Rheingold

McClure( 1994) and Rheingold (2012) both refer to ‘Network Literacy’ in their comments about the development and implications of the internet.  It is great to remember that these comment where made nearly twenty years apart from each other.

McClure was observing the start of a more networked society. His comments are quite simple in comparison to Rheingold’s who has had the opportunity to see the range of the internet grow. McClure focused on a person’s ability to retrieve, manipulate and use the information that they access from the internet.

Rheingold has too mentioned the importance of network literacies, and in particular social media literacies such as attention, participation, collaboration, network awareness and critical assumption (2010). In the videos about network literacy he focuses on the observations of social networks and social capital.  Rheingold and other academics have observed and created formulas that explain how the social value of networks has increased due to the way people can access and interact. This is due to the new tool, apps and infrastructure that have allowed people to form groups.  There has been a cultural and economic shift.

Social capital or as Rheingold describes it; is the ability for people and/ or groups of people to get things done without money or the involvement of an institution. The power of many versions of social media to help people to organise political groups and movements, to draw likeminded scientists together to solve medical research problems, students to form study groups which are accessible 24 hours a day. The possibilities are endless and exponential,  like Reed’s Law describes.

Reflections on “Defining the connected educator”

Reflections on Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). Defining the connected educator. In The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age (pp. 3-24). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Pg 13.

Moving from co-operation to collaboration

My online study over the last eight years has played a major role in being a collaborator. As a student learning together with other students I have learned to appreciate the value of collaboration and forming networks of knowledge.

I don’t think I have moved beyond co-operation to collaborating completely as I need to share more and engage in more online conversations outside of the online university spaces.  Trying to get students and other teachers in my school community to collaborate is still very much a work in progress.

For 21st century learners collaboration is expected now to move forward and become part of a learning or professional network. Their traditional learning experience can be expanded so much. The place of social media will be expanded and more complicated. I think 21st century learners will need to engage with these platforms.

Pg. 17


This reflection activity was definitely a bit of a wakeup call; I need to actively increase my ability to engage students in real-life and global situations and continue to promote reflection with collaborative tools.  I need to make my learning environments richer in technology. I intend to increase my use of Moodle in my teaching so this should help. I think I am a learner leader in my workplace and amongst colleagues, one of the main reasons though is because I age actively engaged in post-graduate learning. It was not surprising to me then that I got my highest score in the section about ‘engage in professional growth and modelling digital citizenship and responsibility. I didn’t score myself many 3’s ( and nothing above) so I clearly have some work to do.


The connected educator

My understanding of a connected educator is a professional who is a learner, leader and sharer in collaborative knowledge networks. They make purposeful decisions to engage with others online to learn more about educating people. They encourage others to do the same as well. A connected educator helps create powerful knowledge networks with other connected educators.

“A Day in the Life of a Connected Educator” includes many connections with knowledge networks. I think when we truly become connected educators; sharing becomes part of our nature and not an over-thought task. I still have to make a conscious effort to share – I do wonder often if I am sharing the right sort of material.