Learning in the Collective or in Communities

In the “Collective” the students are a part of a group of people with the same interest in order to learn. In Communities people become a part in order to belong. In the Collective the students participate in order to get the most out of learning. In the Communities people don’t have to participate in order to be a part of and can quit at any time. I believe the difference is, between the Communities and Collectives, a student will ask themselves how they have contributed to a group? The question would call the individual from an observer to a contributor. This question would take a Community player to a Learner of a Collective. As a Collective learner the people come together with their knowledge and skill to produce a greater result.

In the book, A new culture of Learning (51), Thomas and Brown make a great point with the Internet brings us an unlimited amount of information that we can enlarge our knowledge and produce more insight. As a teacher we need to stay abreast of the new opportunities to learn and teach our students how to use this information. Our students need to practice talking in groups with their peers. Through conversation they can learn from each other and ultimately teach each other information or how to resource information from the Internet. This can grow into Learning in the Collective. Students will learn to share what they know and through online classes, where they can expand their learning from home with peers on the Internet. Students will learn to add “one’s own knowledge” to the conversation and interact with others on the same topic that they are interested in. By adding to the mix the students will become a part of a powerful movement of knowledge and they themselves are growing in knowledge. By having the students researching and learning from the latest findings on a topic the students are relieving the teacher from doing the work of staying on top of up to date information. My hope for my students is for them to learn from research-online in ways that learning together with their groups and adding their thoughts to enable them to grow in the topic of interest. This process of learning would help prepare them for the new way of learning online.

When students fall behind in High School credits or if their schedule isn’t allowing them to attend High School they can take online classes. We have students in our high school that fall into similar situations and still graduate on time due to online classes.. We also have students that take college classes for credit and this saves them time and money when pursuing their further education. This emphasizes the importance of teaching students to learn through Collective Learning.

Students are moving to more online classes due to costs according to Aspillera, World Wide Learning. In 2011, 6.7 million post-secondary students were enrolled in at least one online class. The reasoning behind the change to online classes can vary between, flexibility, accessibility, range of options and control of study time. As a teacher we need to prepare our students to learn in this fashion. This opportunity to learn from home can save and prepare our students for success in college.

In conclusion, I understand the purpose and operation of this class. We read and study on a topic presented by the teacher at the beginning of the week so by Twitter Thursday we can share our findings with each other. So, with the promptings on Twitter we come together to help each other stretch further than we would have on our own. This has greatly impacted my teaching philosophy in the classroom. My students need to research a concept/topic and share their finding with each other in order to come to greater growth. Needless to say, what the students put into the class is what they will get out of the class.


Aspillera, M, (2010). What Are the Potential Benefirs of Online Learning?. WorldWideLearn. Retreived October 3, 2015 from worldwidelearn.com

Brown, J. & Thomas, D.(2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.:

VLACS. Top 7 Benefits of Choosing an Online Virtual High School. Virtual Learning Academy. Retrieved October 3, 2015 from blacs.org


One thought on “Learning in the Collective or in Communities

  1. When I started this journey to earning my Masters degree I was amazed to see that I could do it all online. I had taken a class years ago that was entirely online, but it was terrible. I ended up dropping the class because the way it was set up was not helpful for me. I was terrified that this is what was going to happen this time around as well. Times have changed. They took that past knowledge and really made it more interactive for everyone. I have gained so much knowledge from these online courses. It is the wave of the future and we do need to prepare our students for it as well.


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