|I created this mind map using a Google app from MindMup.com|
Mapping my learning connections has greatly reinforced and demonstrated the relevance of Connectivism learning theory. I am constantly drawing on a wide variety of resources in all aspects of my life and more and more of these resources are digital. My work, education and personal interests intersect through the use of many of the technologies shown on the above mind map.
Technology has allowed us to develop extensive learning networks that can be accessed by the click of a mouse. Much of the information I consume does not differ in content but rather in how I access it (online versus paper-based). I no longer have to personally visit the library or wait until I am at work to view a file that I was working on last week or ask someone a question.
Technology has enabled me to store/bookmark/download/subscribe and otherwise access a vast knowledge base. Tools also allow me to decide how to organize these resources so that I can subsequently find the information I need.
Tools that best facilitate learning for me allow me to structure digital resources in a way that mimics how I store and access information in my long-term memory. What is intuitive for one person may not be intuitive for me so I prefer tools and resources that mirror my own internal processes.
I gain new knowledge when I have questions by defining what is needed to bridge the gap between what I know and what I need to know. This is a systems approach and when I have a clearer understanding of my requirements, it is easier to find a solution as well as the approach to use -- should I talk to someone, can I look the information up in my existing knowledge network, do I need to access specific resources or must I begin with a more general search.
I have had a "personal learning network" for many, many years (as many people do) but now it can be greatly enhanced through online interactions with people you don't necessarily know but who have similar interests and share their ideas, questions and resources.
Burt, R. (2014). What is a Personal Learning Network. Retrieved from http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/pln-challenge-1-what-the-heck-is-a-pln/