Pre-requisites for learning networks?

This week focus turns to the attributes of networks. SD and GS have both posted useful presentations which outline their thinking.  SD talks through network design principles which include

  • decentralize
  • distribute
  • disintermediate
  • disaggregate
  • dis-integrate
  • democratize
  • dynamise
  • de-segregate

These all make sense, but the two for me that would be difficult to apply across education in practice would be decentralize and democratize

Decentralize means not having one person in the centre, such as you would in a typical lecturing situation. So to take this further, children would not have one teacher – everyone would be a teacher, just as everyone would be a learner. In theory, this is fine. We can encourage learners to learn from each other and to regard themselves as teachers, but ultimately – just as we see on this course – learners gather round someone, who they think can teach them.

And then there’s democratization – where each entity is autonomous and decides what the nature of connections are going to be. Students can choose their professors from anywhere in the world, and decide on which student group they want to join and what they want to study. This brings with it a need for maturity and responsibility – so at what point can learners take this on?

So – Are there pre-requisites for learning effectively in a network and if so, what are they?

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