Network learning, or personal knowledge management (PKM), is an individual, disciplined process by which we make sense of information, observations and ideas. In the past, self-directed learning may have involved keeping a journal, writing letters or having conversations. These are still valid, but with digital media we can add context by categorizing, commenting on, or even remixing information. We can also store information for easy retrieval as we need it.
Network learning, at the individual level, includes:
- Personal directed learning – how individuals can use social media for their own (self-directed) personal or professional learning; and
- Accidental and serendipitous learning – how individuals, by using social media, can learn without consciously realizing it (e.g., incidental or random learning).
At its core, network learning is a way to deal with an ever-increasing amount of digital information. It requires an open attitude toward learning and finding new things. Each worker needs to develop individualized processes of filing, classifying and annotating information for later retrieval.
Standard document management methods have been shown to fail over the years, as most workers do not personally adopt them. Developing good network learning skills, on the other hand, can aid in observing, thinking and using information and knowledge. Learning in networks also prepares the mind to be open to new ideas and can result in “enhanced serendipity.” As Louis Pasteur said, chance favours the prepared mind [Stevin Berlin Johnson says that chance favours the connected mind].
One way to look at network learning is as a continuous process of seeking, sensing and sharing.
- Seeking is finding things out and keeping up to date. Building a network of colleagues is helpful in this regard—it not only allows us to “pull” information, but also have it “pushed” to us by trusted sources.
- Sensing is how we personalize information and use it. Sensing includes reflection and putting into practice what we have learned. Often it requires experimentation, as we learn best by doing.
- Sharing includes exchanging resources, ideas and experiences with our networks and collaborating with our colleagues.
Read complete article – Network Learning: Working Smarter
Here are four main processes that can be used in developing critical thinking skills using web tools (click image to enlarge).
Using a Seek-Sense-Share framework (