Friday, February 28, 2014


Mapping and graphing a Personal Learning Network

Geometries of space provide some useful ways to analyze and graph the participants and resources in a Personal Learning Network or PLN: intelligence of information pyramid; idea transfer speed graph; geographic distance.
* The Intelligence of Information Pyramid idea (Information Pyramid for short) is about the means by which information is stored. This is more than just a concept in information retrieval, it is a way to categorize thousands of possible Web tools, and these Web pages lay out some of the best of these tools/links in a fancy design, a series of tables, Brains, Shelves, Drives,  with a separate work frame (when the site allows it).  Try creating a bibliography of resources using each of the pyramid's headings. If you have a better link than mine, comment away below.
* The Idea Transfer Speed Graph and its concentric circles are about the time it takes to get to an idea, a way to think about the speed with which you can find and use an idea; this will require your input. Closer items do not necessarily get you a better idea; just an idea. A distant book may still be best. Make your own circles or copy and paste this one into a graphic editor (Powerpoint slide; Fireworks, etc.) and add initials for people, hashtag names, Twitter handles to follow, blog site addresses, virtual reality locations and so forth. How rich is your contact list? How fluent are you in using its tools? Which tools work best?
* The Geographic Distance Map is about physical distance, which can be a proxy for divergency. This will also require your input. Search Google Images for world map outline and copy/paste into graphic editor, then add dots and labels to pinpoint where your contacts are located, which can to a degree represent the divergent quality of those PLN contacts. For a real test of divergence, you'll have to consider the concept of how distant your sources are in terms of cultural, family and language similarities. 

There is not just one set of maps for a person. Rather, it is more likely that there is a different set of maps for each area of study/inventing/problem solving/entrepreneurship in which one is engaged.

Consider yourself at the center of an expanding bubble-universe of information expanding far more rapidly than a single person can comprehend. It will take a knowledge society, overlapping networks of PLNs, to make the most of this infinite gusher of new oil. Information is the dominant fuel of current cultural and economic growth. Invent away!

Twitter "find your tribe" hashtags: #pln  #searchtools

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