Monday, September 22, 2008

Week 3 - networks

I dipped in & out of this weeks powerpoint with interest. Over 100 slides, all with NO embedded hyperlinks (drats), so I had to google continuously to find out more as each slide would bring up items I was unfamiliar with. This would then lead to ‘discoveries’ and it would take me some time to wend my way back to the main powerpoint. All a good example of how my learning has been enhanced by the web. In the past, I would have jotted down interesting bits to follow up & at some stage (often the next long break from work which could be a couple of months down the track), I might get back into following the bits up at the library. Therefore, my learning had to be much more organised on my part, although I had less exposure to ‘new ideas’ then & did not have to be too structured.

The important thing about networks at the moment is the ease in which they can now form, expand, mature & then in many cases fade away. Some of our networks are ‘evergreen’, these include our connections with the things that are closest to our hearts, our inner circle of friends, our professional networks & our learning ‘projects’. Many are the result of work or study related interests. As an example, I recently joined the graduate junction which is a place for Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral researchers from any discipline around the globe to connect. I registered & had my little page going in a couple of minutes. I entered in keywords pertinent to my PhD research – apprentices, vocational education & identity formation. Then I did a search of each of the keywords & achieved instant connection to people researching in these areas. I then had a choice on whether I wanted to make contact or to just have a look at the resources that were archived on their pages.

The other interesting paper was on concept maps which came through from one of the discussion forum participants. This provided a good explanation of how concept maps should be constructed and use supported by theories of constructivist learning. If I have the time, I will download the cmap tool to be used as a sort of ‘place holder’ for all the various bits of information on elearning, mlearning, apprentice learning, adult learning etc etc which are continually floating around my brain.

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