The exercise of mapping out my learning network reinforced Kligyte’s (2009) view on the integrative features of the threshold concept. Kligyte (2009, p. 531) states that the “delineation between personal and professional identity, and communication becomes blurred, and all of a sudden the distributed world of information appears to be coherently connected and makes sense.” Looking at my own learning network, there was some duplication between my personal and professional identities, and crossovers between the two networks.
Mapping out my learning network was an illuminating experience. I didn’t expect it to connect as coherently as it did, and was surprised about how deep I could go in exploring my learning network. Please feel free to take a look at my learning network above.
I decided to use Bubbl.us to create my network. It is the same software Lauren used for her learning network. I chose this software because I like the usability of Lauren’s recommended technologies. Firstly, she recommended a Group/Skills Knowledge Map program on the social forum that was really easy way to map our skills as a collaborative group. I found Bubbl.us just as easy to use and it’s now definitely a part of my “toolbelt” (Socol, 2008). Since using Bubbl.us to map my learning network, I have now integrated it into the planning phase of projects that I am currently coordinating at work – talk about information flow and connections!
Looking back, my learning network is a little unbalanced. I found more connections in my professional learning than my personal. This is reasoned by the fact that I have made a higher commitment to my professional learning this year, especially in relation to professional networking. However, if I did this exercise a year ago, I think I would have found a greater focus on my personal learning rather than my professional. I am sure my learning network will evolve over time.
Another, interesting point I noted was the difference in network literacy between my personal and professional networks. For example, in the writing and research aspect of my professional network, I labelled my readers as “peer-reviewers” or “critical friends.” However, in my personal network, I named them “beta readers” or “readers.” The type of language we use within our networks determines the type of information we are giving and receiving. Both Lauren and Mitchell explore this within their learning network posts by identifying the relationship between language and tools.
Also, like Mitch mentioned in his post, I also noted a difference in the use of technologies between my two networks. I tended to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype and Yammer within my professional network. For my personal network, I opted for blogging and Instagram. This personal selection aligns with Socol’s (2008) TEST framework (Task – Environment – Skills – Tools), where the use of the four elements of TEST determines the most appropriate outcome.
Socol, I.D. (2008). The Toolbelt and Universal Design – Education for everyone. Retrieved 11 August, 2017, from, http://speedchange.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_2046.html
Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. Paper presented at ASCILITE 2009, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/auckland09/procs/kligyte-poster.pdf