Teaching Crowds
450 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Sep 2014

Teaching Crowds

Learning and Social Media

Athabasca University Press

Within the rapidly expanding field of educational technology,learners and educators must confront a seemingly overwhelming selectionof tools designed to deliver and facilitate both online and blendedlearning. Many of these tools assume that learning is configured anddelivered in closed contexts, through learning management systems(LMS). However, while traditional "classroom" learning is byno means obsolete, networked learning is in the ascendant. Afoundational method in online and blended education, as well as themost common means of informal and self-directed learning, networkedlearning is rapidly becoming the dominant mode of teaching as well aslearning.

In Teaching Crowds, Dron and Anderson introduce a new modelfor understanding and exploiting the pedagogical potential of Web-basedtechnologies, one that rests on connections — on networks andcollectives — rather than on separations. Recognizing that onlinelearning both demands and affords new models of teaching and learning,the authors show how learners can engage with social media platforms tocreate an unbounded field of emergent connections. These connectionsempower learners, allowing them to draw from one another’sexpertise to formulate and fulfill their own educational goals. In anincreasingly networked world, developing such skills will, they argue,better prepare students to become self-directed, lifelong learners.

Jon Dron is associate professor in the School ofComputing and Information Systems and a member of theTechnology-Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at AthabascaUniversity. His current research concerns the social aspects oflearning technologies, with an emphasis on methods and technologiesthat enable learners to help each other. He is the author ofControl and Constraint in E-Learning: Choosing When toChoose.

Terry Anderson is professor and researcher in theTechnology-Enhanced Knowledge Research Centre at Athabasca University.His research interests focus on interaction and social media ineducational contexts. He is the editor of The Theory and Practiceof Online Learning, 2nd ed., winner of the 2009 Charles E.Wedemeyer Award.

List of Figures and Tables ix

Preface xi

Chapter1     Onthe Nature and Value of Social Software for Learning

Chapter2    Social Learning Theories

Chapter3     ATypology of Social Forms for Learning

Chapter4    Learning in Groups

Chapter5    Learning in Networks

Chapter6    Learning in Sets

Chapter7    Learning with Collectives

Chapter8    Stories From the Field

Chapter9    Issues and Challenges in Educational Uses of Social Software

Chapter 10    TheShape of Things and of Things to Come



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