The Networked Student

The networked learner model provides students with a way to create a personal learning environment where meaningful learning occurs with knowledge construction. “Knowledge based on experiences and social interactions”(Drexler, 2010).

Principles of networked learning are around connectivism and constructivism. Social learning theory is also part of this approach as an array of resources are sourced from personal learning environments.

Development Aims of Networked Learning (Drexler, 2010):

  1. Contacts.
  2. Synchronous communication.
  3. Information management.
  4. Social networks.

Due to technology, the connectivity aspect is now embedded in our study, work and personal lives thanks to internet access on mobile phones, tablets and laptops. This allows learning to be mobile, agile and provide constant learning opportunities. Learners can also be creators and collaborators of learning, not just consumers.

Learning Aims:

  • Promotes inquiry-based learning.
  • Promotes digital literacy.
  • Empowers the learner.
  • Build professional connections to support practice.
  • Build a purpose of independent inquiry.
  • Flexibility as new technologies emerge.

How to Deliver (Educator Perspective): An educator can scaffold a networked learning approach to allow students to take more control of the learning process. The teacher could provide details of reliable and quality sources of information available to students.

The educator can decide on the types of resources students are to use. Remember to always consider, “what are the students using in their everyday lives”, if they use them then you really need to justify using closed off and password protected applications, as the learning network will become very restricted to a single institution. Emerging web applications and open educational resources are integrated to support a “Networked Student Model”. Why not engage yourself in the technology and source the good resources out and become a guide? You will find instead of creating resources, you will spend more time sourcing information in the mass of information on the web.

Networked Student

Keywords: networked learning; MOOC; personal learning network; web 2.0; connectivism; scaffolding.


Drexler, W. (2010) The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomyAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(3), 369-385.

Wikipedia. (2016) Networked Learning.

Nursing Education Network. (2016) The Networked Teacher.