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Online Community and Networked Learning

Core staff have unparalleled experience and a global reputation in the operation of online learning communities of inquiry and of practice.

Our aim is to improve formal and informal learning, at every level of education and company training. This has been and continues to be realized through a wide variety of educationally innovative projects such as the creation of the think.com software back in 1998/9, which was designed by Core Education staff (when still at Ultralab) and developed by Oracle over a number of years.

Think.com was specifically aimed at engendering participative learning. Through this we created the Talking Heads online learning communities before handing it over to the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services. Talking Heads (renamed talk2learn by the National College) was both an online social environment that reduced the isolation of school leaders and an online community where learning took place through the interchange of individuals. The emphasis was on informal peer based learning, discussion and dialogue. By the time we handed the communities over to the National College, there were in excess of 25,000 school leaders and other education staff engaged in both informal and formal learning across the various communities creating a vibrant platform for professional development.

Since then, this seminal work has led to other collaborations in the field of online learning communities of practice and inquiry, such as Ultraversity - the innovative online degree and Chestnet - the online community for thoracic physicians and surgeons, to name but two. For two years, we mentored the Facilitation & Knowledge Management Team at the LGiD, who won an e-Government National Award for excellence in professionalism and leadership and a Government Computing Award, whilst we were working with them. Currently, we are partnering the University of Bedfordshire to create a cross sector series of online communities to support global partnerships, co-research and collaborative networks for innovative educators at every level, engaged in improving the quality of education in every context, called the Education Communities.

  • We combine our extensive experience with an understanding of web 2.0 technologies and their potential for integration into learning and business practices.
  • We can create an online environment matched to your needs or support you in the specification, implementation, staff development and evaluation of online communities of practice, inquiry and in networks.
  • We can help you achieve maximum benefit with minimum outlay and disruption. Our advice combines technical know-how with a sound grasp of how people interact with systems. It may be that our consultancy will suggest changes to the way you work. Our approach is founded on doing the right thing for your organisation not simply on supplying a solution.
Consider joining our Online Facilitation Training Course (course fee discounts available to Core Education partners)