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

  1. Nick Booth

    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.

      

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  2. Michael Post author

    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.

      

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  3. Jeremiah Alexander

    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.

      

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  4. Michael Post author

    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.

      

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  5. Michael Waugaman

    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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