Friday, 25 January 2013

Visualizing PLNs

I have spent a lot of time this week pondering connecting. It's been the overarching theme of the first weeks of my Internet for Educators course at BU. I joined #ETMOOC and the first topic was connected learning. I've heard speakers talk about it. I've had assignments to research it and visualize it.
I think connecting with one another is so important. Through the internet we have access to more information and more people than ever before. However, making good use of this depends the connections we make. There is no possible way I could scour the entire internet to find the best physics resources, but if I connect and share with communities of physics teachers, physicists and like minded individuals we cover more of what's out there and all get access to more and better resources. This is just one example of the benefits of being a connected learner.
Here is a map I made of the connections I've forged so far.
 
Click here for a closer look.
It's also important to remember that everyone has a personal learning network, even my students. This is what I imagine what my future students' learning networks will look like:
I've found thinking about the connections my students use to learn on their own a very productive exercise. If I can align how students learn in my class with how they learn on their own I hope to connect the classroom to their lives, to change school learning from a chore to a natural process.

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