Community Learning Social Networks – Harnessing Educational Assets & Addressing Educational Needs (NetBox)
Promoting the adoption and prioritizing the implementation, of non-discriminatory practices are high on education governance agendas. While education providers in urban areas draw on significant population densities and attract large learner populations, education providers in rural settings are required to provide services across much larger territories resulting in more limited resources available to people on the ground. The aim of NetBox is “to pilot and validate a model for educationally self-sufficient rural communities where traditional consumers of educational services can become producers of educational services and content”. In pursuit of this aim it will seek to address educational needs within selected rural communities by harnessing all available educational assets, both individual and institutional, within that community. Through the development of Community Learning Social Networks, NetBox will capitalise on the pervasiveness of, and acquiescence to social computing in today’s society. NetBox responds to the challenge of supporting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and the priorities of the transversal programme by exploiting ICT-based social networking tools and platforms to connect people of all ages and educational dispositions to public services, learning and civic engagement.
The objectives of NetBox are to:
Develop a cost-effective model for bespoke education provision in small rural communities that considerably increases the range and accessibility of educational services and supports.
Create a sense of community animating residents, service providers and businesses toward a common set of educational, social inclusion and development goals and objectives.
Address motivational and dispositional deficits of those on the margins of lifelong learning by developing a full range of virtual guidance, mentoring and tutoring supports.
Foster the development of enquiry based learning, self-directed learning, intergenerational learning, family learning, peer-to-peer online collaborative learning and mentoring support systems in the selected rural communities.
Foster local educational partnerships between education providers and businesses to ensure that service provision is tailored to address the needs of local businesses thereby supporting local employment and development.
Promote inter-cultural awareness by linking online learning communities in different Member States through Online Twinning Agreements.
Link communities with former members now part of the growing diasporas that span the world and harness their experience for the benefit of local communities.