For connected learning, there are three learning principles, three design principles, and three core values: http://connectedlearning.tv/connected-learning-principles. The design principle of "openly networked" is the one that brings in the web, for me. Higher education has neglected, ignored, even shunned the idea of students doing any part of their work on the open web. But as Jon Udell pointed out in Thursday's webinar, there are all sorts of wonderful network effects that kick in only when one uses the web. That's a big part of what the web was designed to do.
The other reason I tend to insist on the web is that otherwise it's too easy for educators to praise the status quo as being all about "connected learning" already. A colleague at VCU just the other day said she'd been to her department to ask her colleagues if they would be interested in a faculty development experience in connected courses. Sure! they replied. We're doing all of that already!
But of course they aren't really--not the openly networked part, anyway. For me, the web is the opportunity to break some very bad habits in academe and in education generally. It's the place where lip service has a hard time meeting the principle.