Productive Learning Networks
The terms “networked learning” and “learning networks” both refer to the use of technology for learning, but they have distinct meanings. While the former alludes to a philosophical and pedagogical perspective on learning (and is process-oriented), the latter denotes an important class of phenomena for inquiry in educational research (and is object-oriented).
Understanding how a “network” perspective can help unravel complex processes in teaching and teacher education is easier if networks are seen as just one way of describing key phenomena and their relationships. There are alternative perspectives, such as the spatial, systems, market, and architectural. For instance, spatial framings foreground the effects of proximity and containment – as when one talks about “classroom processes” or “content.” Systems perspectives introduce notions such as feedback, balance, and emergence. When a researcher decides to study something as a “network,” they are foregrounding connections.
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