MirandaNet: A Learning Community—A Community of Learners
John Cuthell, Actis Limited, United Kingdom
Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 13, Number 1, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC
Traditional models of learning have reified into concepts of learning, with the teacher frozen as the embodiment of skills and knowledge that have to be passed on to students. In the United Kingdom, the New Opportunities Funding CD-ROM, produced to develop teachers' ICT curriculum competence, is the current embodiment of that viewpoint. The pace of change in industry and technology has burst through into schools. The syllabus has been expanded to the point of absurdity: the application of knowledge has become a critical issue for those who navigate these shoals as captains of industry. Just in Time has become the watchword for Learning, as it has in industry. Whereas industry has re-engineered itself, education, like Lot's Wife, looks backwards. The pace of change often means that teachers carry a train of conceptual baggage, with expectations as to what should be taught and why it should be taught (Cuthell, 2000). These conflict with students as practitioners, who battle with their teachers and academics who act as the gatekeepers over what constitute standards. Knowledge is seen as contained in artefacts, "knowledge artefacts," whereas for many students knowledge is contained within the artefacts of production: the artefacts produced (Cuthell, 1999a). The MirandaNet community consists of teachers and academics as practitioners, who embody the problems faced by their students at the bleeding edge of technology. Within this community cognition is manifested as both materiel and social. New technology is both the network for communication and also the collective memory of the community. The website acts as the repository of memory: newsletters, case studies, the forum for meetings, workshops, and conferences; the source of expert knowledge, with the posting of questions, and collaborative learning. This article examines the ways in which MirandaNet, as the social construction for how we learn and why we learn, forms the focus for life-long learning. The distributed cognition manifested within this grouping of practitioners disseminates into the wider structures of education.
Cuthell, J. (2002). MirandaNet: A Learning Community—A Community of Learners. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 13(1), 167-186. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2002 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
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