Networked Learning: A Brief History and New Trends

  • David McConnell
  • Vivien Hodgson
  • Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld


This chapter looks at the history, meaning and development of networked learning and how it has developed in both the UK and Denmark, as well as in other parts of Europe and the USA. Networked learning is an approach that takes a critical and inquiring perspective, and focuses on the potential of information and communication technology to support connections and collaboration. The chapter examines how networked learning has largely been influenced by an understanding of developments in technology to support learning alongside thinking stemming from the traditions of open learning and other radical pedagogies. The philosophical and pedagogical roots of networked learning are explained, and the development of the Networked Learning Conference is outlined, indicating its pivotal position in our understanding of this form of learning and teaching. The impact on networked learning of Web 2.0 is also examined, showing how it may provide the support for a shift in learning infrastructure and bring networked learning out of the research lab and into practice, providing many different learning designs. The conclusion is that the various scholars and practices associated with networked learning have an identifiable educational philosophy. The chapter also provides a brief summary of the overall structure of the book


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David McConnell
    • 1
  • Vivien Hodgson
    • 2
  • Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld
    • 3
  1. 1.Independent Consultant in Higher EducationStirlingUK
  2. 2.Lancaster University Management SchoolLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  3. 3.Faculty of HumanitiesAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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