This topic intrigues me. how are students able to create connections and build their own learning networks? My first thought is that a very small percentage of young learners build learning networks. Our schools traditionally block social networking and any such platforms that create and open/flat classroom.
By becoming networked and participating in the 'networking' process,' people can further develop their ideas and become energized by sharing (give and take) with others without boundaries. The world of ideas is so much broader and richer than a town, school, state or even country of ideas.
Kristin Ziemke just showed a video of working with her very young students using Edmodo as a back-channel for discussion and it this is a perfect example of how technology can be seamlessly used for learning to empower and engage learners by making it personal and giving them their own space for inquiry, asking, answering and observing.
She posts an image on a page and asks for comments ~ What do you wonder, what do you notice? She shows them how to engage and interact in a forum (digital citizenship) and as a result she sees students are 'talking' to each other more deeply about the content and are asking eachother the critical questions! They write more, they think more. Well played, Kristing Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris!