Naming and Taming your Network

Happy New Year! Time goes by so quickly, and it is difficult to believe that this new blog of mine is now a year old! I began this blog with the idea that I would use it to capture my reflections and learning while researching, as I commenced an Education Doctorate full time. A year on, I have articulated to a PhD, successfully passed the Confirmation stage of my study, and am now steadily working towards the part of the project that excites me the most – data collection. One of the tools I will be using for data collection is a...

Connected Learning and Open Networked Learning – a comparison

My research focuses on the personal learning networks of teachers, and how they experience professional learning through these networks. One of the defining aspects of the PLN is that it is driven strategically by the individual; the network creates an informal learning opportunity that is shaped around the thoughts, feelings and actions of the teacher, as they seek to create and remix knowledge through their connections with people and resources/information. Participating in the Open Networked Learning course (ONL162) is a slightly different, possibly more formal learning opportunity to the type of learning that occurs in a PLN. In this course, social...

Reflecting on a learning experience: Open Networked Learning 162

Earlier this year I had the privilege of completing the online open course, Open Networked Learning 2016, iteration 1 (ONL161). As I reflected on my learning way back in April, I thought that my connections with this particular learning experience had ended. However…I was contacted by the lovely Lotta Åbjörnsson, who works as an Educational developer at Lund University, and who is one of the course team of ONL, and she asked me if I wished to continue my journey with Open Networked Learning in the second iteration of 2016, this time as a co-facilitator of a PBL (problem based learning)...

Learning through Connections – in theory

So part of the reason I am keeping this blog is so I can share with you the research I am undertaking as part of my doctoral studies. Writing about the ‘stuff’ that I have been reading and thinking about for my studies in a blog post is great. I love it. Why? Because when I take the time to explain what I have learnt in my own words (and in a way that is less formal than my thesis requires) I often find that I develop a deeper understanding of it, and feel more confident about writing and talking...

Networks and Webs – inspired by a metaphor

I love reading the work of Jenny Mackness. She is an independent researcher, who blogs about many topics that aligned with areas that are of great interest to me. Her most recent post was called “New Metaphors for Learning“, and it got me thinking about how much we rely on metaphors for understanding, and how the metaphor has come particularly alive now that we are all able to create and share visual and multimedia to express ourselves online. Jenny observes that once you begin thinking about metaphors for learning, you realise they are everywhere. She points to this fantastic presentation...

Social Configurations of Learning – Communities, Groups, Nets and Sets

As part of my research, I need to explore how people cluster together when they learn socially online. This is really interesting to me, because prior to this, I hadn’t given much thought to the differences between networks, communities and the like; I tended to use the words interchangeably. Lots of people do! Whether it is a network or a community, a group or a set may not really matter to you as an individual learner, because usually the main thing the learner is worried about is getting to the information or the person who will be able to best...