Building A Bidirectional Communication Channel Through Networked Learning

My perspective of networked learning contains different aspects of learning and interaction with people, surroundings, internet, social media, information, knowledge resources, and so on. Added to Gardner Campbell’s opinion (2016) that networked learning includes “a real-world context that provides deeply integrative opportunities” and “digitally mediated networked learning”, I believe that networked learning should contain all the connection opportunities around us, especially digitally mediated kind. I think Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Jones, and Lindström (2009) offered a better definition of networked learning as “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”. This emphasized that learning happens when you relate to others and learning resources. As we can see, in the picture, a networked student connects to different kinds of people, resources, social media and internet.

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In a rapidly developing information society, internet and social media are a big part of people’s life, which makes them an important component of networked learning. In the picture, online communities, social networking services, chat, video conference, wikis, blogs, popular media, content development communities, social bookmarking and digital photo sharing are related to internet and social media. At the same time, internet and social media themselves are changing rapidly as more and more people pay attention to them and respond to them. They become a platform of people’s communication, which is the core of the traditional networked learning. So digitally mediated kind of networked learning become more and more important. We hear about the huge impact of internet and social media everyday, however, under a lot of circumstances, we focus on all the good impact, and ignore the dark side. Internet and social media provide us huge amount of information even more than we can process. As Stenhouse (1975) argued, “the nature of knowledge . . . as distinct from information”(p.82), among the piles of information offered, we need to distinguish different information. We need to think deeply when we receive information and when we try to call them knowledge, and when we try to absorb them and make them our knowledge.

We need to make wise selection of information we get from digitally mediated networked learning, and we also need to realize that we are responsible for information, ideas or thinking pieces we give out in the digitally mediated networked learning. Since we are working more openly, just like right now I am writing this blog to share my thoughts about networked learning on the open internet. We need to consider our audience, we need to pay attention to how they think about our work and our working process, and respond to that responsibly. Once we send out any information on internet or social media, we are building a bidirectional communication channel.

In the networked learning, we are giving and receiving information at the same time. Thinking deeply and keeping aware of that all the time will be necessary for achieving successful networked learning.



Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L., Jones, C., & Lindström, B. (2009). Analysing networked learning practices in higher education and continuing professional development (pp. 296-pages). Sense Publishers.

Gardner Campbell. (2016). “Networked Learning as Experiential Learning”. Educause review. Retrieved from

Stenhouse, L. (1975). An introduction to curriculum research and development (Vol. 46). London: Heinemann.

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