At the start of the course, I prepared a visualisation of the Knox reading which can be found here.
Knox highlights the shift away from notions of the ‘virtual’ and towards the ‘network’; the web is positioned as a positive force which can ‘support and enhance conventional social life’. Like Bayne on TEL, Knox counsels caution with regard to this positioning of digital technologies. It suggests that that technology is just a ‘passive instrument’ in service to users. This stance fails to recognise the powerful economic and ideological forces which shape the digital tech industry: the web is not a neutral conduit for our interactions.
The move towards the ‘network’ aligns with a broader shift in education from teacher-centric to student-centred learning. There was a shift to understanding learning as the social construction of knowledge.* Our own studies reflect this repositioning; what Garrison and Anderson refer to as the ‘teacher presence’ does not dominate our interactions within our community.
*For a subjective discussion about the practical – and emotional – impact of some of these changes, you may want to read my exchange with James here.
Garrison, D. and Anderson, T. 2003. E-Learning in the 21st Century. Routledge-Falmer, London
Knox, J. 2015. Community Cultures. Excerpt from Critical Education and Digital Cultures. In Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. M. A. Peters (ed.). DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_124-1