Person with arms raised in celebration connected to a network of speech bubbles, devices and information.

Activating your network

Now that you have spent time growing and contributing to your learning network, it is ready for action.

We all have our preferred ways of activating our learning network, so there is no ‘right’ way to do so effectively. Each of us will make choices based on our learning networks and the actions we want to take.

For example, we might prefer to post a tweet or forum question asking, “Does anyone know a good source on…(X)…?”, or we might prefer to ask a classmate or tutor the same thing, or do both.

This video by education technologist Wendy Drexler provides a good example of a learning network in use.


Because of our digital differences, it is worth keeping the audience in mind, and communicating in the most suitable way. Might a face-to-face meeting be more effective than an email, for example?

Providing an easy way to respond will also help.

Using the appropriate tone and language when communicating with your network is important, as is making communications:

  • clear

  • concise

  • and considered.


If you begin to work together on a task, you may also want to think about the best ways to collaborate.

Is a Facebook group, a WhatsApp group, regular Skype calls, a shared Google Drive folder, a shared GitHub space, a forum thread, face-to-face meetings, or a mixture of these and many other routes, going to suit all the collaborators best?

Being flexible and recognising our different preferences will help the communication and collaboration be effective.

What collaboration tools do you have experience of using and what is good or bad about them?

What hints & tips would you recommend for effective communication and collaboration generally?

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Learning in the Network Age

University of Southampton

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