Learning in Hybrid Society


The mediation of social relations by the computer networks leads to a major transformation of psychological functions like learning. Like the move from oral tribes to literate ones the shift from industrial society to virtual social relations may be is a cause for a major transformation in the way persons are learning. This page is focusing to this specific area: Learning in the era of “social Internet”. Of course, comments and ideas are very very welcomed.


One response to “Learning

  • alex

    It is much easier to reason than to experiment! Genetic epistemology and online social networking for learning.

    “In most countries the school turns out linguists, grammarians, historians and mathematicians but fails to educate the inquiring mind. It is important to remember that it is much more difficult to train an experimental mind than a mathematical mind at primary and secondary school. … It is much easier to reason than to experiment” (Piaget). It is much easier to be pathetic than to be active receiver of information. It is much easier to be active receiver of information than to be critical receiver of information. It is much easier to criticize ideas than to bring new ones.

    The development of a theory of learning on “social internet” and social networking sites sounds fascinating. How easy is to perform an experiment to test such a theory? We know the raw materials needed for the recipe: a specialized social networking site, students and teachers to join the resulting online community and researchers to research. But what are the steps, the procedures to follow, the secrets to success and, finally, what is the very recipe? According to Piaget and genetic epistemology: “every theory, concept or object created by a person was one a strategy, an action, an act.” So acting must be the first step. Acting by performing a social networking learning experiment in order to observe, actively participate and understand at the end.

    What’s next? Designing a learning/teaching strategy based on the previous acting experience inside the living virtual learning community. Then testing the strategy, getting feedback and adjusting, altering or totally replacing the strategy. Only after this tentative and hard procedure of acting and experimenting and testing different strategies it is possible to create concepts and develop a theory for learning in social networking sites. Cause, according to Piaget, there is a parallelism between the process of constructing individual knowledge and the process of constructing knowledge. And this process is beginning at the concrete to reach the abstract level.

    A great challenge we are confronting with social networking sites is how can be used to teach a specific discipline like physics or mathematics. And we must not forget that learning something has the prerequisite of acting. How someone can act on physics in a social networking site? Maybe social networking will be proven to be suitable for some kind of learning while unsuitable for other. But this is something that has to be tested. And the target remains to educate the inquiring mind, not to make linguists, historians or mathematicians. Cause it is much easier to reason than to experiment.

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