On groups and emerging networks

Last week’s conversation in the cck08 course has been on the distinction between networks and groups. Which is funny, because in his presentation George Siemens starts off by saying this is an unfair distinction as “they are the same”. Siemens tell is this because groups are a type of network. But aren’t we really talking here about the distinction of groups and the concept of “emerging networks” which i discussed in my previous post?

I get started to think that there is an interesting conflict underlying these two concepts and when overlook, often causes failure of designed learning environments. In this movie Stephen Downes elaborates on the differences between groups and networks.

“A lot of what people are presenting as online learning focuses on groups. I believe what online learning brings us looks more like networks” (Downes)

Groups are based on unity, coordination, closeness and are distributive in nature. Networks, according to Downes, are more diverse are  based on autonomy and openness and are connective in nature. So groups are manageable, they can be coordinated by a manager or a teacher. Groups have closed walls and teachers will present knowledge to their groups/ class. Groups will therefore need technologies like learning management systems which allow teachers to offer their class structure and manage their learning in a close environment. Networks cannot be managed. Members (learners) are autonomous and their learning environment is not bounded by (physical) walls. Networks need technology like personal learning environments, blogs, e-portfolio’s.

The mapping of groups and networks with the technology that fits with their charecteristics was a real eye-opener for me. It made me think about organizations wanting to implement portfolio’s in closed learning environments, demanding employees to write a blog post every week and doing this in a shared blog (non autonomous!), etc…..

Thinking about the differences between groups and networks is not a very easy task, but its very worthwile for every educator/ learning designer to be aware of the distinct differences between those. We (or I) certainly need to do a lot more thinking on the matter, make it concrete for deeper understanding. Many web 2.0 tools are gaining loads of attention nowadays for their educational/ learning purposes. We need to question ourselves wether such a tool was designed for a network audience or if it was based group principles and in what sort we would like to use it.

18 Responses to “On groups and emerging networks”


  1. 1 Maru del Campo

    Hi Joost!
    I always find clarity when I come to visit, thanks for sharing. Indeed, last week I was wondering why was so important to define group and network. After last Friday session I gained some insights that I come to see reflected in your post. From the teacher point of view it is very important, as you mention, to make a clear distinction between them according to the learning objectives and to choose which web 2.0 tools are required to suit those goals.
    Love: Maru

  2. 2 Joost Robben

    Hi maru, thanks for ur reply on the post. It took a while for as well to really understand what we were actually discussing about. I must say that writing a blog post about it helped me very much with my thinking and externalizing it. Ive seen on your blog that this works for u as well. Thanks again, lets keep connected!

    Joost

  3. 3 Ed Webb

    Joost

    I agree with much of what you say here about why this group/network distinction might matter, particularly in educational and other institutional settings. I am somewhat concerned that Stephen’s normative preference for networks, expressed among other ways in aligning them with terms like ‘democracy’ and ‘autonomy,’ may get in the way of a clear-eyed appraisal of relations of power and authority within networks. Those issues must really matter in learning situations, and in complicated ways.

    Keep up the good work, and best wishes,

    Ed

  4. 4 gorge profonde chaude canaille

    Sublime post : persistez dans cette voie

  5. 5 busana muslim

    Artikel bagus soal baju muslim ini sangat bermanfaat. Luar biasa banget dan penting.

    Semua orang yang pakai maupun lagi mencari
    baju muslim seperti gamis dan koko di Indonesia harus baca ulasan ini.
    Mampir juga website saya ya, banyak artikel menarik yang pasti
    bermanfaat bagi para pengguna busana muslim dari Baju
    Muslim Keke. Salam.

  6. 6 baju muslim

    Ulasan keren tentang busana muslim ini baru pertama kali saya baca.
    Keren sekali dan bermanfaat. Tiap orang yang pakai maupun sedang
    mencari busana muslim seperti gamis dan koko
    di Indonesia perlu baca ulasan ini. Mampir juga situs saya ya,
    ada artikel menarik yg semoga berguna buat para pemakai baju muslim dari Keke Busana.
    BR.

  7. 7 domain murah

    Ulasan yg bermanfaat terkait web hosting, domain murah
    & olshop ini sangat bermanfaat. Luar biasa sekali
    dan bermanfaat banget. Setiap orang yg pakai atau lagi cari layanan webhosting
    terbaik di Indonesia dan toko online wajib baca tulisan ini.

    Ayo mampir juga situs saya ya min, banyak ulasan menarik yg mungkin bermanfaat bagi siapa aja pemakai jasa web
    hosting. Tq.

  8. 8 baju muslim

    Artikel keren tentang baju muslim ini baru
    pertama kali saya baca. Keren sekali dan bermanfaat.

    Semua orang yang pakai maupun lagi mencari busana muslim seperti koko dan gamis di Indonesia wajib baca tulisan ini.
    Mampir juga situs saya ya, banyak tulisan menarik yang bisa jadi berguna buat para
    pemakai busana muslim dari Baju Muslim Keke. Thanks.

  9. 9 busana muslim

    Tulisan bagus tentang baju muslim ini luar biasa bagus.
    Bagus banget dan penting diketahui. Tiap orang yang pakai maupun lagi mencari busana muslim seperti koko dan gamis di Indonesia harus baca ulasan ini.

    Kunjungi juga situs saya ya, banyak artikel menarik yang
    semoga bermanfaat bagi para fans busana muslim dari Baju Muslim Keke.
    BR.

  10. 10 hosting usa murah

    Artikel yang keren terkait hosting & toko online
    ini bagus banget min. Keren sekali & bermanfaat banget.
    Semua orang yang pakai ataupun sedang mencari jasa webhosting murah di
    Indonesia dan olshop harus baca tulisan ini. Monggo kunjungi juga website gw ya min, banyak ulasan keren yg semoga berguna bagi siapa aja pengguna jasa web hosting.
    Makasih.

  11. 11 buat toko online

    Artikel yang keren soal web host & toko online ini
    sangat bermanfaat. Luar biasa sekali dan bermanfaat banget.
    Tiap orang yg pakai atau sedang mencari layanan web hosting terbaik di Indonesia & toko online harus baca ulasan ini.

    Monggo mampir juga situs gw ya bro, banyak artikel bagus yg pasti bermanfaat bagi siapa
    aja pemakai service web hosting. Makasih.

  12. 12 beli hosting

    Ulasan bagus tentang web hosting ini luar biasa bagus.
    Keren banget & penting diketahui. Setiap orang yg
    pakai maupun sedang cari layanan web hosting murah di Indonesia harus baca artikel ini.
    Mampir juga website saya ya, banyak artikel menarik yang mungkin berguna buat para
    pengguna service web hosting. Thanks.

  13. 13 reseller hosting murah

    Bagus banget bro, thank you ilmunya. Ini ulasan yang saya cari selama
    ini. Info terkait web hosting yang sangat bermanfaat.
    Sekedar usul tulis juga sist tulisan soal domain murah dan toko online.
    Saya pengen tau banget masalah itu.

  14. 14 grosir baju muslim keke

    Tulisan keren tentang busana muslim ini keren banget.
    Bagus banget dan penting diketahui. Setiap orang yang pakai maupun sedang cari baju muslim spt
    gamis dan koko di Indonesia wajib baca ulasan ini.
    Mampir juga situs yamin, ada ulasan menarik yang mungkin bermanfaat buat para pemakai baju muslim dr Baju Muslim Keke.
    Tq.

  15. 15 tabungan haji

    Artikel yg bagus soal asuransi kesehatan dan tabungan haji ini baru pertama kali saya baca.
    Keren sekali & bermanfaat banget. Setiap orang yang make maupun lagi mencari service asuransi terbaik di Indonesia dan tabungan haji perlu baca tulisan ini.
    Silakan kunjungi juga website saya ya bro, ada ulasan menarik yang semoga bermanfaat.
    Makasih.

  16. 16 404 Not Found

    May I simply say what a relief to discover someone who genuinely understands
    what they are talking about on the net. You certainly realize how to bring a
    problem to light and make it important. More people ought to check this
    out and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.

  17. 17 http://www.sarangceme.com

    Hi there to every one, the contents existing at this site are genuinely remarkable for
    people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.

  18. 18 Zoila

    Elige uno de los dibujos para colorear y pintar.

Leave a Reply