The flexible meeting place: Connecting schools through networked learning

Tom Gislev*, Klaus Thestrup, Pernille Risør Elving

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We will present a framework for establishing distance education in schools by combining Networked Learning and media ecologies seen as both environments and as relations between media. Our model for such a framework is called The Flexible Meeting Place and can be used in schools that lack teachers in certain subjects, and also in schools that want to extend their teaching to other schools in the world around them. The school can become an arena, where children as part of their schooling start to communicate globally. The study is rounded in the project Assisted Distance Teaching in Primary Schools (Forsøg Med Assisteret Fjernundervisning i folkeskolen: ASSIST, 2018) that developed tools to ensure appropriate vocational levels in school classes where there was a lack of teachers educated in the specific subject. This project involved 12 Danish schools, with 2 partner schools in Kenya and Greenland. The focus was on the development of pedagogical methods and technical experimentation. In Assisted Distance Teaching in Primary Schools, the thesis was that a teacher who knew about either the subject, the pedagogy or the technology could support a teaching assistant through a digital mediated connection. It turned out that everybody involved, teachers, children and citizens, began to collaborate through network mediated by online app, tools and services and adapt to the circumstances according to their actual knowledge and to develop new knowledge in collaboration. Based on the above, we will present a pedagogical model with a number of challenges and questions that suggests ways to establishing networked learning through a networked school. The theoretical framework, the model and the reflections around it are meant to support the further development of processes, a preschool teacher or teacher in a school can organise together with the children in her or his class. It is an attempt to push school systems into becoming networked and giving children the opportunity to act locally and globally. This development of schools are supported by an organisation like World Economic Forum, who in their recommendations for a future school system, talks about global citizenship, learning using digital technologies and even make education possible without one having to have access to school buildings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Studies of Childhood
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • experimenting communities
  • flexible meeting place
  • media ecology
  • networked learning
  • networked school


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