We will use the term “community” as a shortcut for community of practice, which we define as a learning partnership among people who find it useful to learn from and with each other about a particular domain.
We use the term network as a shortcut for social network. The term refers to a set of connections among people, whether or not these connections are mediated by technological networks.
We prefer to think of community and network as two aspects of social structures in which learning takes place.
The network aspect refers to the set of relationships, personal interactions, and connections among participants who have personal reasons to connect. It is viewed as a set of nodes and links with affordances for learning, such as information flows, helpful linkages, joint problem solving, and knowledge creation.
The community aspect refers to the development of a shared identity around a topic or set of challenges. It represents a collective intention – however tacit and distributed – to steward a domain of knowledge and to sustain learning about it.
The formation of a community creates a social space in which participants can discover and further a learning partnership related to a common domain.
The learning value of community derives from the ability to develop a collective intention to advance learning in a domain. This shared commitment to a domain and to the group of people who care about it is a learning resource.
The learning value of network derives from access to a rich web of information sources offering multiple perspectives and dialogues, responses to queries, and help from others – whether this access is initiated by the learner or by others.
When a network lacks self-awareness to achieve a desired level of collective intentionality, participants need to build a shared identity through community-building processes.
When a community has become closed and inward looking, when its collective identity has become so tight that it is an obstacle to outsiders and new learning, network-building processes can shake things up
As human experiences that evolve over time, communities and networks have stories – how they started, what has happened since, what participants are trying to achieve.
In other words it is largely through their personal networks that people participate in broader social networks. Social networks are the aggregation of personal networks.
Communities also involve both personal and collective narratives. Communities develop a collective identity that becomes part of the identities of members. Stories of individual participation become part of the stories of communities. But the two are not conflated: they constitute each other, but they are not necessarily congruent.
But it is community – in all its tensions and possibility – that will be the engine that either makes or breaks our efforts here.
Particularly in the absence of, y’know, pay and hierachy and prestige structures. What community can offer is belonging, and support, and a sense of capacity to contribute. A sense that something’s happening that’s bigger than any individual, and an opportunity to tap into energy that’s bigger than any of us, either.
But interactive experience requires an openness that social media platforms were unable to provide. There was a gradual conversion by social media of the internet user as an active participant in a viable community to a passive consumer of advertising and manipulative media.
As we discussed in our conversation with Amy Burvall, the history of how the content was created becomes part of the content. The interactivity enabled by the content becomes part of the content. Creativity and consumption collapse into a single activity.
The difference between previous iterations of learning technology and that which we are experiencing with E-Learning 3.0 is that these creative activities become distributed and democratized.
I would agree E-Learning as an experience is different than the other iterations of @Downes classes but I wouldn't label E-Learning 3.0 just as I wouldn't label Web 2.0 or Web 3.0....Progression assumes progress.not sure that is direction web has had in last decade of so called "Web 2.0"