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
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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