The Network Effect

Thursday 3rd March 2022

  • #UKEdChat session 592
  • Networking expands our horizons
  • Building a network can be both active and ad hoc.
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Forming networks is what humans do. Connections and collaboration are what our species does best and is the foundation of our culture. From long ago in the ancient past we relied on meeting new people to bring new information and skills, and even in the digital age, where information is often only a click or a tap away, discovering new ideas from your network is still a great way to learn.

But should a network evolve naturally, or should teachers actively seek to expand their network in a particular way? There are probably advantages and disadvantages for each approach, with an ad hoc method meaning that you may discover things were didn’t expect, and a more planned method may perhaps prevent falling into the usual tribes, bubbles and echo chambers, so a combined approach may yield the best results.

The network effect isn’t just good for teachers. Encouraging your learners to build a network of collaborators within the class and wider school can improve their learning by offering different perspectives and mentoring opportunities. But as their teacher, you may need to help them build their networking skills to be most constructive.

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 3rd March 2022 at 8pm(UK), we discussed what are the advantages of developing a professional learning network for teachers, how teachers might like to actively curated a network, what are the pitfalls to avoid, and how learning networks can be developed for our learners.


  1. What are the advantages of teachers networking?
  2. Are their any disadvantages or pitfalls when teachers develop a professional network?
  3. What active steps can teachers take to develop a professional network?
  4. What role does technology play in developing a professional network?
  5. How can teachers avoid echo chambers and tribalism when developing a professional network?
  6. What are the advantages/disadvantage of face-to-face networking vs online networking?
  7. How can learning networking be used with students to improve learning opportunities?
  8. What are the more important networking skills we should be teaching our young people?

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About @ICTmagic 781 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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