This short video from Derek Sivers is an excellent starting point for dealing with the anxiety of sharing by students and educators.
Informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning experience. Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways – through communities of practice, personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks. (George Siemens)
Read George Siemens' article here. Siemens is one of the forerunners behind the PLN movement. In this article, Siemens discusses the theory behind PLNs.
This short video is an excerpt from Steven Johnson’s book (by the same name) which outlines the importance of sharing in networks, and how the act contributes to new innovations.
The case for a personal learning network - Shelley Terrell
Peer learning by Howard Rheingold (Peeragogy - read online)
The Network Society: from knowledge to policy (Manuel Castell & Gustavo Cardoso, 2005)