I am really bad at visual exercises as I am an introverted learner (as well as someone who is always looking to learn new things), but I thought that this was an important task to try and complete. Whilst I could say that my Personal Learning Network (PLN) is everyone and everything and everywhere, I accept that that can be quite vague, so here goes …

My PLN looks something like this:

Kelly's Personal Learning Network

Kelly’s Personal Learning Network

I know this may look at little stark, a little empty, but I think it captures the essence of my current PLN.

Utecht (2008) identifies five stages of PLN adoption. In brief, these stages are:

  1. Immersion
  2. Evaluation
  3. Know it all
  4. Perspective
  5. Balance

He provides a graphic of his idea:

When I started reading Utecht’s post I was a little concerned about the apparent prescriptive nature of it, but was pleasantly surprised when, at the conclusion of the post, Utecht makes it very clear that one does not have to progress through these stages in a linear fashion, and that some people may skip ‘stages’ altogether.

The reason for my concern over linear progression through such stages is that web 2.0 is not particularly linear: in my experience it surges and ‘regresses’ and surges again. For example, a site may be very popular for a time and then loose favour, but then a different audience may discover it and begin using it for a slightly different purpose. Therefore, how that site is used today may not be the same tomorrow, so any knowledge gained from immersion the first time may not be entirely applicable the second time. Also, it shouldn’t be forgotten that people can be fickle and as their favour ebbs and flows, so do the technologies being used and with it, ones that you may have been a ‘know it all’ about!

As I don’t work in the information professions as yet, and my current employment does not allow much time to be spent with networking, I don’t have a lot of opportunity for immersion, but Nielsen (2008) does give some good advice that I will endeavour to implement! I see that I am somewhere between immersion and evaluation: that due to my current constraints, I evaluate as I use.

I look forward to exploring the possibilities that Web 2.0 presents for information professionals!

REFERENCES

Nielsen, L. (2008, October 12). 5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network [Web log post]. Retrieved January 31, from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com.au/2008/04/5-things-you-can-do-to-begin-developing.html

Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of PLN adoption [Web log post]. Retrieved January 27, from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption

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