Tales from the land of digital natives


Nice presentation at the Networked Learning conference by Riina Vuorikari and Yves Punie and others. Here are my notes from the session.

  • Digital natives is a problematic term.
  • Learning networks for professional development
  • Learning analytics in a teachers’ social network
  • Teacher collaboration in the context of networked learning – current eTwinning perspectives and future perspectives
  • Supporting teachers’ networked learning skills for more online engagement


  • European Schoolnet – created in 1997 based in Brussels network of 30 EU ministries of education
  • eTwinning – community for schools in Europe, case started 2005
  • Portal for teachers in Europe
  • 133088 active members, inspiring teachers and professional development and tools for collaboration and rewards
  • Bruer et al 2009 School collaboration
  • Projects can be of any kind and length
  • Spreading a positive virus called pedagogical innovation
  • Those not connected don’t get the virus and are not collaborating with others
  • ETwinning reach = number of eTwinners/number of teachers
  • ca. 160, 000 schools
  • On average 2.64% of EU teachers are eTwinners
  • Countries have very big differences big community in Estonia whereas very low in Germany
  • Can map to Rogers diffusion of innovation curve still mainly innovators and early adopters
  • Tellnet project – to better understand how social learning networks can support teachers’ competence building
  • Methods: longitudinal studies using authentic eTwinning data, SNA, visualization techniques, scenario forecasting exercises
  • TALIS< OECD, 2009 Teachers’ co-operation teachers working together: a statistical factor analysis. Two types of activity: exchange and coordination and deeper collaboration
  • Can drill down and find out the nature of these two types of activities.
  • Social capital Burt 1992
  • Human capital ability to perform tasks, Social capital social environment surrounding individual
  • Social capital as a property of individuals – position in SN that are ore efficient in performing tasks (ie local structures) and groups – structure of members betwork that makes the group functions more efficient
  • Used SNA metrics and a development model
  • The performance of teachers and projects recognized by quality labels
  • Network structure of projects and position of teachers – identified via networks created by several communication mechanisms (message, project collaboration, blog)
  • Two forms of social capital – structural holes vs. closure
  • Structural holes nodes are positioned at the interface between groups, informational advantages access to information from different parts of the network, from novel ideas by combining information from different groups, control the communication between groups
  • Closure – nodes are embedded in tightly knit groups, more trust and security within coherent communities
  • Coleman 1990 – Social capital – individual and groups deriving benefits from social relationships, network structural property – either structural hole or closure
  • At what stage is the members’ network of a given group?
  • How does it relate to the performance of the group?
  • Can trace stages of development: born, bonding, emergence to interdisciplinary, Hierarchical and focused.  Pham et al. 2011
  • Density: fraction of actual edges in the network
  • Global clustering coefficient
  • Maximum betweenness: highest betweenness of nodes
  • Largest connected component: fraction of nodes in largest connected component
  • IPTS research: Significant change in what, how where and when we learn

One Response to “Tales from the land of digital natives”

  1. Anne Whaits Says:

    Hi Grainne
    Thank you for sharing your notes from this conference session. I am particularly interested in authentic learning networks as I work with a teaching team of over 1000 across a national footprint of 8 campuses here in South Africa. I am encouraged by the five points you have bulleted at the start of this post. My challenge lays in getting those not yet connected or networking to do so for their own professional development and more…. Would love to learn more about the eTwinning initiative you noted.

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