This #digped chat about peer-to-peer learning, or learning in the collective, was inspired by John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas’ book, A New Culture of Learning. In that book, the authors propose that the nature of and methods for learning have changed with the digital age, and that how learning happens now is not necessarily in the hands of teachers; rather, learners — and in this case, all learners are lifelong learners — are beginning to take matters of education into their own hands. They open their book with this “very simple question”:
What happens to learning when we move from the stable infrastructure of the twentieth century to the fluid infrastructure of the twenty-first century, where technology is constantly creating and responding to change?
Our discussion on May 3rd focused on ideas presented in the book’s fourth chapter, “Learning in the Collective”, where the authors looked at peer-to-peer learning, or how learners help one another learn. We wanted to investigate how this happens successfully, what happens to the role of the expert/teacher, and… ?