People are communal by nature.  How different is the act of joining an online community from joining an on-ground club or social network? Is the way people interact in online communities versus on-ground changing the way we teach and learn or are changing in online community participation and in education simply correlative? 


Over the past ten years education in America is begun to change in dramatic ways, with some using a "guide on the side vs sage on the stage" analogy to describe how students increasingly expect to be a part if of the active construction of knowledge and meaning rather than only being passive recipients of distilled wisdom. During the same time interval, online education has grown exponentially while traditional participation rates have remained static or declined?


Is it possible that the dramatic increase in online community activity rather than individuals more often relying on traditional documentation and one to one interaction with support technicians could be a reflect a similar trend in how people want to find information about the products and services they use?