I have taken an opportunity to read Maarten de Laat‘s (2006) thesis on Networked Learning. I enjoyed the range of Maarten’s work and must revisit the detail in each of the chapters. Chapter 3 has a discussion of theory and praxis and I read with interest Maarten’s discussion of Lawrence Stenhouse’s work.
(Lawrence Stenhouse, Donald Schon and Eliot Eisner had an enormous impact on my thinking in the 1980s. They are my antecedents of connected, open communities of practice able to reflect on and transform learning).
I noted too Maarten’s observations about networks, communities and learning:
- Networked learning provides the opportunity to gain more active control and take ownership over learning agenda.
- Networked learning environments provide open learning spaces where people are able to develop meaningful interactions between each other.
- Networked learning happens spontaneously between people who decide to share their interests.
- it is the communities that people build that open the doors for ‘new’ learners to enter their knowledge domain, take part in their conversations and learn about their practice.
- It is the community that keeps knowledge alive and accessible over a longer period of time, through
fostering meaningful lasting relationships.
- Communities are social learning spaces.
I hope to read more of the Additional readings! My next stop is re-reading Stephen’s Buntine Oration.