Recently I've been reading (and listening) to Stephen Downes, George Siemens, Jay Cross and Richard MacManus exploring learning networks and connective knowledge. I'm seeing a convergence and emergence of themes:
- Learning is an ecology - remember knowledge ecology?
- Connections are key - we talk relationships and patterns in knowledge work
- Informal learning is dominant - think communities of practice
- Learning is a conversation - dialog and creative abrasion facilitate knowledge creation and verification
- Capacity to connect is more important than current knowing - build your network rather than increasing your collection
- Diversity is essential to check cascades - confers adaptability, stability, flexibility
The movement towards collaborative learning is strong, some would argue irreversible, helped by web2.0 and social software. The personal learning environment has moved from a walled LMS container to an evolving mix of flickr, youtube, secondlife, myspace, 43things.
Stephen says it best:
"Knowledge is a network phenomenon. To 'know' something is to be organized in a certain way, to exhibit patterns of connectivity. To 'learn' is to acquire certain patterns".