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Title: Virtual learning networks for sustainable development
Authors: De Kraker, Joop
Cörvers, Ron
Keywords: sustainable development
lifelong learning
learning networks
virtual mobility
Issue Date: Jun-2009
Citation: De Kraker, J., Cörvers, R.J.M. (2009, June). Virtual learning networks for sustainable development. Paper presented at the 23rd ICDE World Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Abstract: Sustainable development is a participatory, multi-actor process. In this process, learning plays a major role as participants have to exchange and integrate a diversity of perspectives and types of knowledge and expertise in order to arrive at innovative, jointly supported solutions. Virtual learning networks can support these processes in at least two important ways. In higher education, virtual mobility networks can provide effective learning environments for the development of the competences needed to participate effectively in such processes. In practice, lifelong learning networks can provide the tools to support learning in these processes. This paper presents examples of virtual learning networks of both types. Virtual mobility initiatives in higher education, such as virtual campuses, can provide international, multi-disciplinary learning environments. These learning environments foster the development of ‘transboundary competence’, i.e., the competence of academic professionals to think, communicate, learn and collaborate across the boundaries between different perspectives. In the practice of regional sustainable development, social learning networks offer great potential to bring universities and public and private sector actors together to develop sustainable solutions to complex regional problems. Major challenges are the blending of physical and virtual network activities, the facilitation of true interactivity between scientific experts and practitioners and the engagement of large numbers of citizens that are stakeholders in the issue.
Appears in Collections:1. Sci: Publications and preprints

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