Thomas and Brown’s article Arc-of-Life Learning describes a new culture of learning that has evolved with the development of technology .It involves a digitally networked infrastructure where learners interact, form connections and collaborate whilst accessing the huge information network on the internet whilst participating in a variety of structured social media formats or web 2.0 tools.
As an adult learner who is participating in my second online University course in less than ten years I can say that I have experienced this learning culture. Some of it has been supported by online forums on the university sites and at other times on social media eg. Twitter. Working in an online world I have reached out through this media. This seems a common element in the stories shared in this article.
As an educator though, I have seen the education system be slow to take advantage of these opportunities in the digital world. Students don’t always share openly, unless they have to for an assessment task. I think it takes some practice and students have to experience the positive feelings and success described for themselves.
I know that students interact in this culture of learning out of school for personal interests eg. computer gaming and coding.We need to encourage them to create knowledge in this way for their school studies.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). Arc-of-Life learning. In A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (pp. 17-33). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.