George Siemens visited QUT a couple of weeks ago to give a seminar about the future of learning and teaching. Below is a quote from his speech (yes I recorded it! I am a big fan). It foregrounds the central importance of social connections and networks for learning.
“When I’m adding technology into my classroom, I always ask: what is it going to enable me to do that I can’t do now? It really boils down to trying to generate some kind of network effects. For instance, if you go into an average room of 100 people, everyone knows different things. If someone needed to answer a statistical problem, someone would know statistics. If someone had an injury or illness, someone would have a health or medical background, and so on. There’s an enormous amount of latent knowledge out there, and it’s not exposed or understood through the usual kinds of teaching. The reality is we can teach each other almost everything. The key, then, is to activate that latent knowledge, through technology or otherwise. We need something that gives us the ability to express what we know and to teach one another”.