Learning Networks are online social networks through which partici- pants share knowledge with each other and jointly develop new knowledge. The ultimate goals are to enrich the experience of formal, school-based learning as well as to form a viable setting for professional development. In order to attain these goals, however, participants should be aware of each other‟s existence in the first place. This paper introduces a case study of a Learning Network: eT- winning, a European network of teachers who exchange their experiences and seek collaboration. Based on multiple sources, a picture of the current state of mutual awareness and sense of connectedness in the eTwinning network is painted. The network proves to be divided. On the one hand there is a strong core group, which feels connected and is clearly aware of each other. On the other hand there are many participants who seem to be isolated. To engage this second group, this paper suggests the use of a peer-support mechanism called Ad Hoc Transient Groups (AHTGs). Through AHTGs participants who have a question can be connected to and helped by other members with relevant ex- perience in the area. Finally the paper presents new areas of research in Learn- ing Networks, particularly the design of a service that aims to encourage par- ticipants to grasp the value and opportunities offered by their Personal Learning Networks for their own professional activities and professional development.
|Publication status||Published - 28 Nov 2011|
- learning network
- social awareness
- ad-hoc transient groups
- sense of connectedness