Switzerland, Networked Learning and Online Social Networking January 31, 2007Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Arto, Learning, Social Networking.
I just returned from a week in Switzerland. I was attending The CSCL Alpine Rendez-Vous 2007. CSCL stands for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and I was part of a workshop that focused on Networked Learners and Networked Learning. In fact, I know very little about networked learning or even learning in general, but there were many interesting researchers attending the workshop who know very much about the subject and that was really exciting. I was to present my PhD project during the workshop and since my subject is online social networking I tried to make the connection between social networking sites and networked learning. My claim was that networked learning could be one way of understanding what is going on at social networking sites. If you take that stand, social networking sites could be viewed as networked learning environments and I find that perspective interesting. Especially, when I think of the amount of informal learning that actually takes place on sites like Arto where young people are willing to e.g. help each other with advanced HTML design, discuss society-oriented problems in the debate forum or “blog their guts out” in pages long blog posts at their profiles.
Also, I find that viewing social networking sites as places where networked learning takes place could be a link between youngsters (the users) and grown-ups (the non-users). The cases that I know of where the older generation has met the youngsters at Arto on their own terms things have worked out really well. As an example I know a Danish police officer who uses Arto in his work with preventing online threats or bullying, a street worker who is communicating with the kids from his youth club on Arto, parents who are communicate with their children on the site and so on. That would indeed be an interesting perspective to put on my PhD project and I will certainly think more about that.
By the way, Switzerland is a great country and I did try skiing a few times before I got sick and had to stay in my hotel room for three days. I must go again someday 🙂