• University of Southampton

Learning in the Network Age

What does it mean to learn in a networked world? Find out, and discover how to make use of your own personal learning network.

Learning in the Network Age
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Develop the skills to succeed in education today.

Digital technologies have fundamentally changed how we learn. The web is no longer simply an information resource, but also a space for interaction, scholarship and creativity.

In this world where knowledge is widely distributed, accessibility is determined by and dependent on the strength of an individual’s learning network. This course will equip you with the skills needed to succeed in education, in this networked age. You’ll explore our digital differences and how to address them and examine ways to grow and manage your own personal learning network.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsNICHOLAS FAIR: The Web and mobile technology has affected how we learn. It has changed when and where we learn.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsLISA HARRIS: How we find, assess, use, and store information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsNICHOLAS FAIR: How we communicate, study, and work together. How we create, present, and share our ideas, and who we learn with and from.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 secondsLISA HARRIS: In a 21st century digitised society, we sit at the centre of our own personal learning network, an offline and online network of people, technologies and information that we should develop and use effectively, in order for us to maximise our learning potential.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsNICHOLAS FAIR: This course will help you to do exactly that. So we hope you'll join us.

What topics will you cover?

  • How we learn in the network age (learning theory)
  • Understanding digital inequalities and digital citizenship in an educational context
  • What your Personal Learning Network (PLN) looks like and how you use it
  • Growing your network – making new connections and assessing reliability
  • Contributing to your network – managing your online identity (single vs multiple); creating and sharing
  • Putting your network to work – searching; sending/requesting/posting; collaborating

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what it means to learn in the network age (where, when, how and with/from whom we learn as networked individuals in a network society)
  • Reflect on the impact on education of digital inequalities such as access, openness, ownership and inclusion
  • Explore digital tools for finding, using and storing information; communicating and collaborating; and creating, presenting and sharing ideas
  • Investigate your personal learning network and develop network skills in how to grow, manage and activate it more effectively

Who is the course for?

This course will be useful to anyone in Higher Education, or who is planning to be. It will also be of value to HE educators wishing to close the gap between the traditional instructional style of university teaching and the more interactive means of communication available today.

Course image: © PureSolution/Shutterstock.com

What software or tools do you need?

You do not need any special software, although the when you map your own learning network it may be better to do so on a device with a large screen (e.g. not a smartphone).

What do people say about this course?

Having completed the Learning In The Network Age course I have to say how impressed I was by the support and engagement of the course tutors and mentors who embraced the concept of a shared learning platform, and challenged and inspired students. The discussions amongst students was regularly enhanced and developed by the engagement of tutors and mentors who added insight and detail to conversations, often bringing new ideas and concepts beyond those already explored. Even if you have done a course before with FutureLearn and struggled, despite the name of the course, I am sure students will find this course a refreshing change and a highly enjoyable experience. I look forward to the next running of the course to refresh and renew my ideas and challenges around developing my personal learning networks.

Richard Gartside

Who will you learn with?

I'm a Web Scientist and Digital Educator interested in Personal Learning Networks and their impact on higher education.

I am an Associate Professor in Mathematics Education within Southampton Education School. I specialise in international comparative research and the use of technology.

Who developed the course?

University of Southampton

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.

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