Learning from a curriculum and learning from a network.
Courses work in an environment when knowledge/information is fairly static and developing slowly. The more rapidly information develops, the more quickly courses cease to serve the needs of learners. The information is outdated before the ink is dry.
[...] learning communities allow us to become knowledgeable in a specific area of interest...much like courses teach one specific subject matter.
Most of us belong to more than one learning community. These multiple communities form a personal learning network. If a learning community equates somewhat with a course, then our learning network is equivalent to a degree program.
Yes! Definitely. Precisely. Spot on. As the evolution of the different fields of knowledge speeds up, each crosses a threshold point where it makes more sense for most learners to give up on courses and embrace learning networks. In IT this is already happening.
While I agree that learning from other people, outside of formal curricula, is (and always has been) important, I don't know that I can exactly agree that "our learning network is equivalent to a degree program." Some problems with this concept of equivalence include accountability, accuracy, and completeness. Communities are certainly repositories of information - much of which, unfortunately, may be wrong.
Why is the original headline posed as a "vs." relationship? Wouldn't it be much more appropriate to make it an "and" relationship?