The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On


Downes, S. (2008). “The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On”. In Downes, S., Half an Hour, Sunday, November 16, 2008. Moncton: Stephen Downes. Retrieved November 17, 2008 from

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Type of work: Article (outreach)


e-Learning and Instructional Technology | Education | Social Media & Social Software


The purpose of this paper is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning environments. Part of this thinking is centered around the theory of connectivism, which asserts that knowledge - and therefore the learning of knowledge - is distributive, that is, not located in any given place (and therefore not ’transferred’ or ’transacted’ per se) but rather consists of the network of connections formed from experience and interactions with a knowing community. And another part of this thinking is centered around the new, and the newly empowered, learner, the member of the net generation, who is thinking and interacting in new ways. These trends combine to form what is sometimes called ’e-learning 2.0’ - an approach to learning that is based on conversation and interaction, on sharing, creation and participation, on learning not as a separate activity, but rather, as embedded in meaningful activities such as games or workflows.


Summary at Compressing Stephen Downes, by Pelle Filipsson