Networked learning - the main ideas
"Networks have underpinned human learning well before the proliferation of technology evident in society today. The development of expertise in hunting, gathering, and farming require knowledge to be shared with each new generation. Upon inculcation into farming, for example, the younger generation built on the work of others. Small advances in new techniques and tools served to continually advance disciplines such as farming, blacksmithing, soldiering, and more recently, philosophy and sciences.
Network learning is today more evident because it finds its existence in explicit network structures: mobile phone networks, the internet, and the web. Each generation likely views itself as the guardian of new intellectual insight and scientific advances, overlooking the enormous progress brought forward by previous generations. When discussing network learning, we find ourselves on a small pinnacle of a large mountain. The network structures now prominent in technology were previously served by social interactions, written scrolls, religious writings, and the communication structures of generals, kings, and emperors.
With this slight acknowledgement to the underlying nature of learning networks in the overall development of humanity, a more considered discussion of developments of learning networks over the last several decades follows." (Georg Siemens)