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  • Monograph “The Impact of Social Networks on Teaching and Learning”
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Network Promises and Their Implications

Las promesas de la red y sus implicaciones


The new learning environment characterized by P2P networking allows for new forms of learning and new ways of knowledge production. One must be careful, however, not to confuse the more mature concepts of fluid and relative knowledge, which learners gradually develop through dialog and exchange, with some kind of epistemological revolution mandated by the new networked environment itself.

Interactive networks have been represented as somewhat “ideal” environments where nodes are equally dispersed and connected in an environment devoid of the constraints of space or time. While it is certainly true that P2P interactivity offers immense new possibilities for learners, we must strive to understand the dialectical nature of the new environment. What appears to be an ideally democratic social space can in fact be subjected to hidden power distribution and arcane control.

Learner control is one important dimension of networked communications, with implications reaching all the way to questioning the nature of learning and knowing. While network enthusiasts are prone to proclaim the new age of the “creative commons”, some very real steps are being taken to upset this trend, and we should caution that copyright issues are far from being resolved in this environment.


El nuevo entorno de aprendizaje definido por las redes P2P facilita nuevas formas de aprendizaje y nuevos sistemas de producción de conocimiento. Sin embargo, se ha de procurar no confundir los conceptos más evolucionados de conocimiento relativo y conocimiento fluido, que los estudiantes adquieren gradualmente a través del diálogo y el intercambio, con la revolución epistemológica que exige el nuevo entorno de red.

Las redes interactivas se han representado como entornos hasta cierto punto «ideales» en los que los nodos están a la vez dispersos y conectados a un entorno carente de limitaciones espaciales o temporales. Si bien es cierto que la interactividad P2P ofrece inmensas posibilidades a los estudiantes, debemos procurar entender la naturaleza dialéctica del nuevo entorno. Lo que parece un espacio social idealmente democrático, en realidad, puede estar sometido a un reparto de poderes oculto y a un sistema encubierto de control.

El control del estudiante es una de las dimensiones más importantes de las comunicaciones en red, con implicaciones que llevan a poner en tela de juicio el aprendizaje y el conocimiento. Aunque los partidarios de la red se sientan inclinados a proclamar el nacimiento de la era de los «creative commons», se están tomando medidas muy efectivas para dar al traste con este movimiento, y, por otro lado, es preciso advertir que los problemas de copyright están lejos de resolverse en este entorno.


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Correspondence to Paul Bouchard PhD.

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Bouchard, P. Network Promises and Their Implications. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento 8, 288–302 (2011).

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