Learning theories and a personal approach to networked learning as a connected educator

After reading Siemens (2008), Hodgson, McConnell & Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2012) and Wenger (2012) I have identified numerous learning theories that I believe inform my understanding of networked learning pedagogy. These learning theories are social learning theories like Connectivism, social constructivist theory and the idea of a ‘community of practice’.

These theories emphasise the impact of networked structures in the internet linking people and computers in social networks. Siemens (2008) described how today’s technology facilitates the distribution of knowledge, while at the same time allowing us to “project ourselves outward digitally” (de Kerchove, 1997 ,p.38).I think it is important as a connected educator to do this, but it is often harder to project yourself out there than just observing (or lurking as some describe).

Hodgson, McConnell & Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2012) say that most connected educators or “networked learning practitioners” place a high value on

-co-operation and collaboration

-working as part of a group or community

-“discussion and dialogue”

-self-determination of self-motivation during the learning process

-valuing of differences

-trust and relationships

– the investment of one’s self in the networked learning process

– the role that technology plays in connecting.

I would agree that these factors play a major role in the way I act as a connected educator and help others learn about how they to connect and learn more.

Wenger’s (2012) concept of a ‘community of practice’ working together played a major role in the knowledge artefact I developed for the teaching community of my school to encourage them to learn from each other.

 

References

Hodgson, V., McConnell, D., & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2012). Chapter 17: The theory, practice and pedagogy of networked learning. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson & D. McConnell (Eds.), Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 291-305). New York, NY, USA: Springer.

Siemens, G. (2008, September 28). A brief history of networked learning. Retrieved fromhttp://elearnspace.org/Articles/HistoryofNetworkLearning.rtf‎

Wenger, E. (2012). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from
http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/06-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

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