Using Personal Professional Networks for Learning in Social Work: Need for Insight into the Real-World Context

  • Kamakshi Rajagopal
  • Desirée Joosten-ten Brinke
  • Peter B. Sloep
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6383)


Professionals in social work practice depend on a high level of skills, intellectual ability and a wide knowledge base to find innovative solutions for the complex problems they encounter. They learn by experience and through social interaction using dialogue and discussion with relevant others to create new knowledge. To support their learning, they search for the most suitable and most relevant dialogue partner available in their extensive personal professional network. This is a difficult, high-skilled task, for which little technological support is available. This paper presents a literature review on the learning needs of these professionals and considers the use of technology as a means of supporting this type of learning. It argues for the need for more insight into the strategies used by professionals in building, maintaining and activating connections in their personal professional network for learning purposes.


Personal Learning Network social networks dialogue and discussion as means of learning expertise identification user-centred technology design 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kamakshi Rajagopal
    • 1
  • Desirée Joosten-ten Brinke
    • 1
  • Peter B. Sloep
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC)Open UniversiteitNederland

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