5 thoughts on “Social technologies and the blurring of formal and informal learning”

  1. This is really good. The the real issues are cultural. In my view it is a question of shifting relationships between learners and teachers. In truth many teachers aspire to breed independent learners – without being able to relinquish the old style power relationships which keep people as passive learners. Social media, yet again disrupts, challenges relationships more than it does technology and tools.

  2. Thanks Nick. And I guess this is reinforced by institutional and public expectations: the teacher is generally expected to be the teacher and the student the student.

  3. Excellent commentary Michael. I agree that there are a lot of challenges in the area of learning and I believe those challenges are going to help drive innovation. It is a very exciting industry to be involved in.

  4. A clarification
    When I wrote ‘I don’t think there’s a great problem with bringing the informal into the formal’ I meant that I don’t think we need to worry too much about trying to force a transition. I didn’t mean to imply that informal learning could be a threat to formal learning.

  5. I like your point about facebook et all as being more than or other than a location and the the subsequent importance of understanding the relationships facilitaed by tech over the tech itself.

    On another note, being not long removed from a HEI development post in U o London I know that there is a drive to include informal and/or experential learning within accreddited degrees – even at a postgraduate level. I know this is not exactly what you’ve written about but it seems to me that if we are to one day have a general formula for translating informal learning into the equation of formal accreditation for degrees, and the social/professional values attached therein, then something will have to give.

    I only hope that it happens as you suggest – that the traditional structures bend more than they ask the informal non-structures to become rigid.

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