Monday, September 29, 2008

CCK08 Network Concept Map

I really enjoyed the conversations about networking that came out of the connectivism course last week. The concept swam in and out of my brain throughout the week. For example, an old friend came into town on Sunday morning. He invited a few other folks who he knew in the area when he lived here years ago. We all got together for breakfast, talked about old times, and marveled over the additional friends and acquaintances that we had in common. Human networks are not new, but technology certainly reinforces and enables those additional connections. At the end of breakfast, email addresses were exchanged and I ended up with 3 new LinkedIn connections. Once you start thinking about networks, it's difficult to break away. They are so pervasive in my daily life.

Some of the key take-aways that resonated this week include:
  • Multiple networks that come together are not purely additive. There is overlap, more so as the network evolves.
  • There are different roles within a network. Individuals can take on more than one role within a given network or across the networks in which they participate.
  • There is value in all network nodes, though it may be influenced by individual roles and possibility expertise.
Networks Concept Map
(Click on the map to enlarge)

I truly began to see that networks ARE everywhere, not just on the Internet, but in our face-to-face workspace, public transportation, social relationships, mobile communication, families, colleagiate football (bad week for the Gators), and our suffering economy. Recognizing networks in every aspect of life provides a virtual laboratory for contemplating and comparing those networks to online social networks. What makes them successful? How are they maintained? What are the roles within that network? Where is the power? How does this outside-world network compare to my online social connections?

These questions are important if we ever hope to grasp the complexity of online networked learning.

No comments: