Monday, November 30, 2009

Collaborative Learning Networks

While each of us has an individualized way of interacting with co-learning colleagues, Dave Cormier's recent post and intermittent tweets have led me to regard the term Personal Learning Network as slightly 'oxymoronic'. My contributions to a group experience might be qualified as 'personal', but I would never use the word as an adjective to describe a team, a committee, or a class to which I belong. Maybe it's time to reconsider the use of the term PLN?

Personalized Learning & Participation
Each person's learning network is certainly unique. The tools we use to interact with our networks are chosen to suit our personal tastes, and the types of information we share among our colleagues varies widely; but the name we've come to accept for this inter-connected learning: Personal Learning Network, implies individual ownership and control.

Whether or not you subscribe to the theory of Connectivism, you likely realize that our networks are chaotic and self-organizing all at the same time.

A Collaborative Learning Network
The value in any learning network comes from the contributions of many individuals. No one member has ownership of the group, or of the work that's been collaboratively developed. Additionally, it's clear that if any one person fails to add value, then the net results are less striking.

Do you have a Personal Learning Network?
Do you have a Collaborative Learning Network?
Do you have something different?

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Audrey
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