Thoughts on Networked Learning

I have to be honest and say that I didn’t know what networked learning was nor have I ever heard of it before reading the assignments for this week. After doing a little research of my own as well, I think I understand networked learning to be a type of collaborative learning that uses social media such as blogging on Twitter. This got me thinking about how my lab and others currently share knowledge gained from research in the academic setting. Most of our publications are read by scientists and researchers through journals and only limited to the audience of that journal (so it may not reach disciplines outside that particular field of study). I started to think about how Using public social media I like Twitter and blogging could potentially lead to more people receiving knowledge gained from your research, spreading this information and expanding on it. After this reflection, I feel students can highly benefit from practicing networked learning in the classroom setting. I really like the analogy from the baby George video of how the whole class climbed this mountain together each time pulling the whole class onto a plateau before going to the next assignment. I agree with the speaker when he said how we’re always talking about the real world on the outside but we need to start bringing the real world to the inside and networked/collaborative learning is a way to do that. Take for example doing a dissertation. We are encouraged to develop and conduct our own projects and write our own chapters/publications where very little of any type of collaboration is involved. In the “real world” research is now moving towards networking and collaboration and grants/publications are regarded as higher quality when a variety of researchers are included.