Nowadays, we witness the use of web tools provides as new means for professional development. The Networked Learning concept refers to the ways new communication technologies can influence connections between one learner and other learners; between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources (Harasim, Hiltz, Teles & Turoff, 1995; Goodyear, Banks, Hodgson and McConnell, 2004, Siemens, 2004; De Laat, 2006).
(Source: Alec Couros)

Network communication such as email (invented in 1971) and computer conferencing (1972) were the beginning of online social networks that have grown with the invention of the Internet (1989) and the web (1993). The introduction of web 2.0 innovations such as blogs (1999), user-generated content sites such as wikis (2001) and social networks Facebook, Ning, (2004) as well as several applications Flickr, YouTube, and Twitter (2006) represent what has come to be termed as ‘The Social Web’.
What is Waiting Around the Corner?
Inspired be Nova Spivack’s weblog ‘Minding the Planet’ I have created the following illustration of emerging technologies and trends:

When ‘The Web 1.0’ entered education teachers developed ICT skills, but ‘The Social Web 2.0’ shifted focus on usability, clean-looking sites and people making connections with one another. In ‘Semantic Web 3.0’, the emphasis will revert to the rendering of data in the resource description framework (RDF) that is used to catalogue metadata in meaningful ontologies. This will make way for the ‘Metaweb 4.0’ where information is much more reusable and shared with in distributed knowledge networks.

In this new arena, being a Networked Teacher your Professional Learning Network might contain:

  • 1. Profile service
    2. Functionality for collaboration and sharing of resources between participants
    3. Navigation services that will allow participants to search and receive recommendations for contacts and resources
    4. Supporting services to help participants to acquire answers for their problems/questions
  • (Source: Berlanga, Bitter, Brouns, Sloep & Fetter, 2010)