Digital Amnesia and the Demise of a Learning Community

lcj 18 coverJon Mason

LCJ: Special Edition: Narrative Inquiry, 18, pp. 30-39.

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Mason, J. (2015). Digital Amnesia and the Demise of a Learning Community. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Narrative Inquiry], 18, 30-39. DOI:



Through presentation of a personal account of the emergence of Education Network Australia (EdNA) in 1995 through to its eventual demise some 15 years later this article uses narrative inquiry to reflect upon a number of critical issues regarding the sustainability of learning communities and of the digital infrastructure that is developed to support them. ‘Digital amnesia’ is introduced as a construct to describe practices that ultimately led to the disappearance of digital content and services associated with Internet domains associated with EdNA – and hence the learning community associated with it. EdNA’s demise is described as in terms of squandering social and community capital. The formation of a new entity and services intended to fill the service vacuum has shown little evidence of a sustainable approach or an understanding of the affordances of digital technology, particularly with regards to information stewardship. A number of lingering questions are teased out from the narrative and together represent a challenge for further inquiry.


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