The image that came to my mind when thinking about all of this is of the "old" learner being a person locked up in a room just reading book after book and then going out into the world to put his knowledge to use.
The learner of today is someone that is immersed in a world full of learning making "connection" after "connection" to new people and new information.
This is the "network" that Siemens refers to in the video "the changing nature of knowledge". This Learner is constantly learning and growing, because the world is moving at a much faster pace. According to the article the "half-life" of knowledge is becoming increasingly shorter. The article says that knowledge is said to be doubling every 18 months now. I think that is an astonishing rate and really quite fascinating.