Networked learning is a process of developing and maintaining connections with people and information, and communicating in such a way so as to support one another's learning. The central term in this definition is connections. It takes a relational stance in which learning takes place both in relation to others and in relation to learning resources.
Networked learning is practised in both informal and formal educational settings. In formal settings the learning achieved through networked communication is formally facilitated, assessed and/or recognised by an educational organisation. In an informal setting, individuals maintain a learning network for their own interests, for learning "on-the-job", or for research purposes.
It has been suggested that networked learning offers educational institutions more functional efficiency, in that the curriculum can be more tightly managed centrally, or in the case of vocational learning, it can reduce costs to employers and tax payers. However, it is also argued that networked learning is too often considered within the presumption of institutionalised or educationalised learning, thereby omitting awareness of the benefits that networked learning has to informal or situated learning.
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... education as a setting for researching networked learning misses most if not all of the value proposition of networked learning ... Instead, Fox proposes situated learning and Actor-network theory as the better approach for research ...
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