Where Do I Fit On Other People’s Learning Network?

After looking at Bill's and Leigh's mindmap touch graph of their own Learning Network, I've come to the conclusion that I really must be a visual learner. I've read about and tried to get my head around Leigh's concept of Networked Learning for a while now but it wasn't until I saw his latest post and its image that the idea clicked and the light bulb in the cellar of my brain went on. (I did check out Bill's first but the lack of zoom on his Flickr image meant the text was difficult to make out.) What can I say - Mr. Blackall's image was clearer than any explanation could be! And the cool part was seeing where my blog fitted and contributes to Leigh's learning. So, in the near future, my own Learning Network visualisation will be a valuable addition to this webspace. Thanks for the pointer, Bill and Leigh.

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6 thoughts on “Where Do I Fit On Other People’s Learning Network?

  1. Tony Forster

    “Never have so many people written so much to be read by so few…” Katie Hafner NY Times

    I started as a skeptic towards blogs… The seductiveness of selecting a dozen or so people from a world of 5,000,000,000 on the basis that that they agree with me and then believing that I was an instrument of change as we all congratulate ourselves on how smart we are.

    Now I’m thinking that it doesnt matter so much how few are reading this stuff because I can see the power of the intellectual networks created and the ability to work collaboratively on a body of knowlege

  2. Graham

    Post author

    Leigh, I think my initial difficulties in understanding the concept of Networked Learning stemmed from my interpretation of what a network was. When I first started reading blogs, one of the first posts I read from you was on the topic of Networked Learning. In the first few months of getting into blogging I was pretty wide eyed and everyone I started reading seemed to be an expert (Will Richardson, David Warlick, Steve Dembo) and so I actually thought the NL concept to be beyond my level of understanding. So for a while I didn’t try to go any further – just treated like the word in a story you encounter for the first time. You can skip it and the story still manages to make sense. I just thought in the context of everything else you wrote that NL was a close cousin of online learning and that networked referred to computer networks and the internet. I didn’t really appreciate the concept in terms of a personal learning network until I saw the touchgraph. The learning you referred to I think I confused with content originally because that’s what I started imagining the network being used to access. Looking at the definition now, it seems a lot clearer and maybe what a lot of people do is look for a complex definition for an idea that isn’t that complicated and that anyone accessing anyone else in electronic form is probably involved to some depth in Networked Learning. I have to admit, some of this is my own laziness – I haven’t dug much around to really immerse myself in the concept. So don’t fret (except if you read this and think, oh no, he really doesn’t have a clue!!) your concept is clear, the touch graph adds a new dimension of illustrating it but as Alex Hayes points out in your comments, a visual representation cannot show the varying depth behind all of the networked links – the fact that I might get a lot more in terms of learning from a Doug Noon or an Artichoke with deep, thought provoking insight that makes me re-examine what I do to a shallower source (I won’t name one here!) where I might just find out about a new online app or a new service or what happened in a podcast get together.
    Hope this helps. I will cross post this to your blog in case you don’t regularly re-visit other blog’s comments.

  3. Leigh Blackall

    Thanks Graham, the beauty of your blogging software is the little check box I can tick to be sent an email update of comments in a post I’ve contributed to. I wish Blogger would add such a feature 🙁

    Thanks for the insight. I agree, it is the word “network” that needs to be released from the confines of IT discourse. Perhaps there is another word around.. connectivism is one, but for me its too broad. Isn’t my ability to look up a mechanic in the yellow pages and give him a call to ask his advice – connectivism? I think it is. But for me, there is something more about “Networked Learning”, and it may just be the recorded a synchronous elements to this form of communication. I think the idea behind connectivism is meant to represent the idea of Internetworked people communicating, but the name and explination strikes me as too broard..

    Tony Forster’s comment is also very valuable. At time I have also wondered about the fact that I am surrounding myself with people who agree with me… but as he points out, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially when we work together to be very productive on things. Lord knows, in the real f2f world, I get enough counter views to balance my online views!

    Thanks guys.

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