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Feb 4 / Justin



I thought an appropriate first post would be a reflection on my personal learning network. It will after all be this PLN where I draw my inspiration to post on this blog.

I garnered this inspiration to post based on a recent dip into Twitter and reading quickly though this individuals blog. I liked the mind map format for the PLN and so attempted one of my own that you see below. I used a google chrome app Lucid Charts (check out the app store if you haven’t recently). Its a pretty cool online diagramming software. On my Mac I would use OmniGraffle which is probably still more fully featured and you are less likely to lose all our work when Chrome crashes (!!!) but it was good to experiment and would be a better choice if collaboration was necessary.

I went a step further than the blog post above by attempting to put in percentages for the amount of waking hours I spend under each item (or category if items.)  The percentages are really pure guesses (although some data from my account at RescueTime helped) but it was a useful exercise in thinking about where I get information and just how much time I spend with different notes in my network. A key assumption is that the items are not mutually exclusive. i.e I can be using my phone in a face to face setting, or a computer in a meeting. Thus the numbers add up to more than 100% – gasp!

The numbers represent time but probably don’t represent the impact given mediums have on my thinking. For instance printed materials (in which I would include all the PDF’s stored on my hard drive collected over the years) only represent a small amount of time but have an outsized impact on my thinking. Academic work is deeper and more processed than the average blog post. Conferences too have a bigger impact on my thinking than the time represented actually attending them.

The key lessons for me is keeping an eye on where I’m spending my time. The categories on my site will to a certain extent represent the categories you see above in my PLN so that will be one way of keeping track.