[1] properly designed, they reliably facilitate learning. This is

1 Networking is an important skill in professional careers, supporting the individual’s growth and learning. However, little isknown about how professionals intentionally manage the connections in their personal networks and which factors influence theirdecisions in connecting with others for the purpose of learning. It has also been recognized that ties and networks can beintentionally built, created and managed as resources for learning and working (Burt, 1992). The structure of a personal network canchange in ways best benefiting the needs of professional learners throughout different stages of their careers (Margaryan, et al.,2009). By including weak links in their personal networks, learners can create an environment for learning (Kester and Sloep, 2009).2 When networks are properly designed, they reliably facilitate learning. This is because, when properly designed, the networkwill itself learn. Through the process of interaction and communications, the entities that constitute the network will form a mesh ofconnections. Knowledge is embedded in this mesh of connections, and therefore, through interaction with the network, the learnercan acquire the knowledge. Foresters learn about trees by working with foresters; lawyers learn about the law by working withlawyers.3 Learning on demand is becoming a type of lifestyle in modern society (Mc Loughlin& Lee, 2007). Learners constantly seekinformation to address a problem at work, school, or to just satisfy a curiosity. To do so, they take advantage of digital andnetworked technologies not only to seek information, but also to share information. Thus, learners should not be considered aspassive information consumers; rather, they are active co-producers of content. In the physical world, learners usually rely onlunchtime discussions, student organizations, brown bag sessions and study groups for peer support and informal learning networks(Martindale & Dowdy, 2010).4 Public affairs professionals are on the edge of a revolution in education and knowledgemanagement. The combination of mass syndication of user-created online content coupled with the advent of powerful searchengines is a revolution as fundamental as the one created by the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. Professionaleducators can create learning networks using Web 2.0 technologies that are freely available.

x

Hi!
I'm Joan!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out