The Peeragogy Handbook



Welcome to the Peeragogy Handbook!
This book, and accompanying website, is a resource for self-organizing self-learners.

With YouTube, Wikipedia, search engines, free chatrooms, blogs, wikis, and video communication, today’s self-learners have power never dreamed-of before. What does any group of self-learners need to know in order to self-organize learning about any topic? The Peeragogy Handbook is a volunteer-created and maintained resource for bootstrapping peer learning.

This project seeks to empower the worldwide population of self-motivated learners who use digital media to connect with each other, to co-construct knowledge of how to co-learn. Co-learning is ancient; the capacity for learning by imitation and more, to teach others what we know, is the essence of human culture. We are human because we learn together. Today, however, the advent of digital production media and distribution/communication networks has raised the power and potential of co-learning to a new level.

If you want to learn how to fix a pipe, solve a partial differential equation, write software, you are seconds away from know-how via YouTube, Wikipedia and search engines. Access to technology and access to knowledge, however, isn’t enough. Learning is a social, active, and ongoing process.

What does a motivated group of self-learners need to know to agree on a subject or skill, find and qualify the best learning resources about that topic, select and use appropriate communication media to co-learn it?  In particular, what do they need to know about peer learning?

This handbook is intended to answer these questions, and in the process, build a toolbox for co-learning.
Our experience within this project has been that flattened hierarchies do not necessarily mean decisions go by consensus. The handbook is in part a collaboration and in part a collection of single-author works. Often the lines and voices are blurred. One constant throughout the book is our interest in making something useful. To this end, the book comes with numerous activities, and is available under non-restrictive legal terms (you can reuse portions of it however you see fit it has been given a CC Zero 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication). For those who seek more evidence-based, scholarly scaffolding for learning practices, we also maintain a literature review of learning theories that pertain to self-organized peer learning.

Finally, we also include instructions on how to join us in further developing this resource.
 The Peeragogy Team

Meet the Authors

Bryan Alexander – USA, VT
I research the ways new technologies change education, teaching, learning, and scholarship. I’m passionate about storytelling, gaming, pedagogy, and understanding the future. My family homesteads on top of a little mountain, raising food.
Reach Bryan on Twitter  |  Bryan’s personal website

Paul Allison – USA, NY (
Currently, I teach English at the Bronx Academy Senior High. Another community that I’m a part of is the New York City Writing Project. I’m the NYC Technology Liaison for the National Writing Project. I help to manage Youth Voices and I co-produce Teachers Teaching Teachers..
Reach Paul on Google+  |  Paul’s personal website

María F. Arenas – República Argentina
 (Author, Editor)
Independent consultant researcher on TICS applied to Learning, Digital Communication, Institutional, Corporate. On line facilitator tutorship. Professor on Semiotics, Social Communication, Networking. Non Violent Communication.
Reach María on Google+  |  María’s personal website

Régis Barondeau – Canada
I build bridges between research, praxeology and technology and I become creative “by finding a likeness between things which were not thought alike before” (Bronowski, 1958). I’m interested in complexity, culture, social media especially wikis, education, open government and more.
Reach Régis on Twitter | Regis’ personal website

Doug Breitbart – USA, NJ
 (Author, Meeting Support)
I am first and foremost a catalyst and provocateur who has worn the hats of attorney, consultant, facilitator, coach, entrepreneur, father, husband, student, teacher, and passionate believer in a networked, wired and semantic world.
Reach Doug on LinkedIn  |  Doug’s personal website

Suz Burroughs - USA, CA (
Author, Designer)
I enable the connections between the teacher and learner in all of us by designing robust, measurable learning environments where people share their knowledge and experience with each other. Learning Designer, Design Thinking facilitator, Visiting Professor of Innovation, and Communitarian.
Reach Suz on … |  Suz’ personal website

Joe Corneli – U.K. (
Author, Editor)
Joseph Corneli is a Ph. D. student at the Knowledge Media Institute of The Open University, UK, where he does research on how people learn mathematics. He is a member of the board of directors of the US-based nonprofit,
Reach Joe on  |  Joe’s personal website

Jay Cross – USA, CA
Jay is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. The Internet Time Alliance, which he chairs, helps corporations and governments use networks to accelerate performance.
Reach Jay by email | Jay’s personal website

Charles Jeffrey Danoff – USA, IL
Charles is the Owner of Mr. Danoff’s Teaching Laboratory, an Educational Publishing and Services firm he established in 2009. With Joe Corneli, he started publishing research on Paragogy, Peeragogy’s inspiration, in late 2010.
Reach Charles on  |  Charles’ personal website

James Folkestad – USA, CO
 (Author, Editor, Designer, Developer)
My approach to education has shifted from an emphasis on my teaching, to a more central focus on student learning, and finally to an activity-systems approach as I have come to realize that the two (teacher and learner) are inseparable parts of the learning ecosystem.
Reach James on Google+  |  James’ personal website

Gigi Johnson, EdD – USA, CA
 (Author, Developer)
I mix formal learning programs with programs to help learners begin to work, live, and create everywhere. My own adventures include writing, singing, video, teaching, and parenting 3 teens.
Reach Gigi on Twitter  |  Gigi’s personal page

Anna Keune – Germany/Finland
 (Co-author, Designer)
I design technology for learning and I like it.
Reach Anna on Twitter  |  Anna’s personal website

Roland Legrand – Belgium
I’m a financial journalist, heavily involved in experimenting with social media and new forms for reporting and community conversation.
Reach Roland on Twitter  |  Roland’s personal website

Amanda Lyons – USA, NY
I am a Visual Practitioner, Organization Development Consultant & Experiential Educator. I love helping people communicate via visual tools that generally include markers and paper. I think our education system (in the U.S.) could benefit from using visual communication tools as well as text based methods to teach.
Reach Amanda on Twitter  |  Amanda’s personal website

Christopher Neal – USA, WA
Communications and Media
I am driven by technology and its ability to modify virtual communities and social media. Coupled with a passion for Social:Learn, Social:iA, Situated Cognition, Social Learning Theory, Connectivism and Collective Intelligence etc.
Reach Christopher on Google+ |  Christopher’s personal website

Ted Newcomb – USA, AZ
 (Author, Analytical project overview)
Happily retired grandpa, curating on digital culture, sociology of the web; interested in collaboration and cooperation in digital networks that result in positive change.
Reach Ted on  |  Ted’s personal website

Charlotte Pierce – USA, MA
 (Editor, Publisher)
Indie publisher who finds in happiness in pushing her limits and seeing them back down. Augmented her intellect in RheingoldU’s Think-Know Tools course, then joined the amazing Peeragogy community, where the plot thickens.
Reach Charlotte on Twitter  |  Charlotte’s personal website

Howard Rheingold – USA, CA
 (Author, Editor)
Inspired by Charles Danoff and Joe Corneli’s work on paragogy, I instigated the Peeragogy project in order to provide a resource for self-organizing self-learners. Learning is my passion.
Reach Howard on Twitter  |  Howard’s personal website

Paola Ricaurte – Mexico
 (Author, Translator)
My belief: education and technology are essential tools for social change. My challenges: activist, teacher, mother, immigrant. My philosophy: I am what I am because of who we all are.
Reach Paola on Twitter |  Paola’s personal website

Fabrizio Terzi – IT
Inventor, Designer, Translator
I am involved in social and educational projects related to public access to knowledge and cultural diversity. I am an active member of FSF and the FTG — working on Free/Open Culture.
Reach Fabrizio on | Fabrizio Personal Website

Geoff Walker – U.K.
A Further and Higher Education Lecturer and Tutor with 12 years experience of teaching in a wide range of subject areas. Social networker, e-learning advocate and user of blended learning techniques which follow from experience of teaching distance learning.
Reach Geoff on Twitter  |  Geoff’s personal website

Bryan Alexander, Paul Allison, Régis Barondeau, Doug Breitbart, Suz Burroughs, Joseph Corneli, Jay Cross, Charles Jeffrey Danoff, Julian Elve, María Fernanda, James Folkestad, Kathy Gill, Gigi Johnson, Anna Keune, Roland Legrand, Amanda Lyons, Christopher Neal, Ted Newcomb, Stephanie Parker, Charlotte Pierce, David Preston, Howard Rheingold, Paola Ricaurte, Stephanie Schipper, Fabrizio Terzi, and Geoff Walker

These materials are made available under the terms of Creative Commons 0 copyright waiver instead of a “traditional” copyleft license. We the undersigned agree to the following, wherein “this work” refers to “The Peeragogy Handbook” and all other content posted on or the original collaboratory site,
I hereby waive all copyright and related or neighboring rights together with all associated claims and causes of action with respect to this work to the extent possible under the law.
    •    Bryan Alexander
    •    Paul Allison
    •    Régis Barondeau
    •    Doug Breitbart
    •    Suz Burroughs
    •    Joseph Corneli
    •    Jay Cross
    •    Charles Jeffrey Danoff
    •    Julian Elve
    •    María Fernanda
    •    James Folkestad
    •    Kathy Gill
    •    Gigi Johnson
    •    Anna Keune
    •    Roland Legrand
    •    Amanda Lyons
    •    Christopher Tillman Neal
    •    Ted Newcomb
    •    Stephanie Parker
    •    Charlotte Pierce
    •    David Preston
    •    Howard Rheingold
    •    Paola Ricaurte
    •    Verena Roberts
    •    Stephanie Schipper
    •    Fabrizio Terzi
    •    Geoff Walker
Note that this waiver does not apply to other works by the above authors, including works linked to from  It also does not apply to embedded content drawn from other sites and included for the reader’s convenience.
Future contributors: Note also that we will require a similar copyright waiver agreement. That said, the waiver also means that you are free to do essentially whatever you like with the content in your own work! Have fun!

How we came to this decision
These Creative Commons license options were proposed by various members of the community:
    •    CC Zero – public domain; no restrictions for downstream users
    •    CC By-SA – requires downstream users to include attribution and to license their work in the same way
    •    CC By-SA-NC – requires downstream users to include attribution, to license their work in the same way and disallows any commercial use of the content
After a brief discussion, no one was in favor of restricting downstream users, so we decided to go with CC0. We agreed that we would get enough “credit” by having our names on In connection with this discussion, we agreed that we would work on ways to explicitly build “reusability” into the handbook content.

Publication Date: 
January 7, 2013