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This content is taken from the University of Southampton's online course, Learning in the Network Age. Join the course to learn more.
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What you need to know about the course

This course is all about learning in the network age. The way we learn is changing, it is much more than just attending lectures and classes.

It involves interacting with a powerful online and offline network of

  • people

  • technology

  • information

in ways, places and times of our choosing.

However, just as we are subject to social inequalities offline, so too are the networks we create online. These differences impact what our learning networks look like and how we use them.

This short course will help you to understand how we learn, to know more about digital inequalities and their effect on our learning networks, and to develop the skills and literacies to help you to understand, grow, manage and activate your Personal Learning Network (PLN) effectively.

It should take about three or four hours to complete the tasks each week. This includes watching videos, participating in discussions, exploring links and completing any exercises.

Key information about this course

As one of the activities on this course you will generate your own, unique Personal Learning Network map. This will show you what your learning network looks like and how you use it. You will be able to access the map online at any time by using the Unique Participant Number you will be provided with.

The anonymous aggregated Personal Learning Network maps will form part of University of Southampton doctoral research, so by exploring your own network you will also be helping us to learn more about the subject.

Getting the most out of being involved

This course is all about a networked view of learning. Therefore, we hope that you will make maximum use of the comments sections and discussions by posting your thoughts and ideas, as well as reading and replying to the comments of others, asking questions, and sharing what you know or learn.

You can visit the FutureLearn profiles of people you connect with and ‘Follow’ them to make finding their posts easier. You can also select the ‘Activity’ tab followed by the ‘Your Comments’ tab to easily find responses to your posts left by other coursemates.

You can also use the course hashtag #FLlearningnetworks to communicate with each other on social media whenever you want.

Remember, the more you get involved, the more you get back!

The wider network

This course is part of a collection of Web Science courses supported by the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. Other courses in this collection include the introductory course Web Science: how the web is changing the world, The Power of Social Media and Introduction to Linked Data and the Semantic Web.

Web Science is all about the study of the Web as a socio-technical system, in other words Web Science is about seeing the Web as a system where technology and people are equally important. Web Scientists draw on multiple disciplines to understand how and why the Web functions as it does.

Using social media networks to support your learning

The Web Science collection of free online courses also have their own blog, Twitter and YouTube channel where you can see and comment on new videos that we post during the course. You can subscribe to this channel too.

One of our Web Science course learners, Simon Fogg, set up a Google + community that you might like to join and participate in. You can sign up here. Simon recently won a FutureLearn Inspiration Award for his work in developing and managing this social network on Google +.

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This article is from the free online course:

Learning in the Network Age

University of Southampton

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: