Rhizomatic, digital habitat: A study of connected learning and technology application

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’Homo conexus’ is used as a metaphor for the alleged next evolution of homo sapiens, an evolution that prepares us for knowledge production in the technology rich ‘network society’. This paper describes an experiment with network learning utilizing collaborative web technologies in a cooperative learning environment in college education. The pedagogic design focuses on the individual learner’s role in the group and on the group as a part of a larger digital, learning cooperative. The authors use the notion of the rhizome as a metaphor for learning in ’the postmodern state’ of information sharing and knowledge building. The paper suggests a new way/model of describing key competences for learning in the future based on ‘network literacy’. The competence to produce knowledge through information fragments in a hierarchical, rhizomatic network seems to be a vital competence when learners produce knowledge on the basis of internet information. Also, a teacher’s network literacy and his/her competency to utilize different, connected technologies is necessary when learners act and learn within a rhizomatic network. The authors claim that when the classroom becomes a ‘digital habitat’ and the learning processes are social in a connected rhizomatic network then information sharing, knowledge production and technology embody a strong synergetic entity. The study suggests that technologies used to create ’digital habitats’ are likely to enhance learning and motivation and allow new creative ways of working with inclusion. Furthermore the study explores if there is a need for a new approach to the understanding of learning that takes social constructivism to the digital age with a point of departure in connectivism. Beyond that the study shows that there is a need for teacher training. Teachers need more robust methodologies for gaining technology and network literacy. We found that students initial level of technological and network literacy had large impact on the success of their work. On the basis of that we recommend more focus on training ‘network literacy’ through authentic pedagogic designs that utilize personal technologies in rhizomatic networks.
Translated title of the contributionRhizomatisk, digitalt habitat - et studie i læring i netværk og anvendelse af teknologi
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on e-Learning
EditorsTeresita Arenas Yáñez, Oscar Saavedra Rodriguez, Paul Griffiths
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication date26 Jun 2014
ISBN (Print)978-1-909507-69-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-909507-84-5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2014
EventInternational Conference on E-Learning (ICEL2014): ICEL2014 - Valparaiso, Chile
Duration: 26 Jun 201427 Jun 2014


ConferenceInternational Conference on E-Learning (ICEL2014)


  • Rhizomatic learning,
  • community of practice
  • digital habitat
  • connectivism

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