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Children Online: Learning in a Virtual Community of Practice

E-Learning Volume 2, Number 1, ISSN 1741-8887


This article argues that children in a particular virtual community are learning through their participation in the discursive and social practices of the community. Using Wenger's model of "communities of practice" the article illuminates examples of children's learning that were a direct result of collaboration towards a common goal. Children regularly puzzled out problems together to find the answers, motivated by the desire to be successful and to gain status in the community. This type of learning is rarely attributed to children, as the field of education often relies upon a Vygotskian theorisation of learning through interaction with expert others. In this study, children often learned without an expert, using strategies such as trial and error, and discussion, and through the construction and transformation of their identities, both in and out of the fictional role-playing context. (Contains 1 note.)


Thomas, A. (2005). Children Online: Learning in a Virtual Community of Practice. E-Learning, 2(1), 27-38. Retrieved December 5, 2019 from .

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