I started writing my mind map over my Learning Network. I divided it all into two categories – Social network and Professional network. And then I started to write this reflection and after a while I realized I wanted to change the mind map. Back to the drawing tool and now I divided it in to People, Analog Media, Digital Media and Technology.  Even though the People part does not seem so big when looking at the mind map, it is. People are important to me when it comes to learning.

I learn from family and friends, from people at church, book club and dance group (my private social network) as well from people at work and my own students and from professors and classmates in courses I study. Everyone have their own history and experience and meeting them and talking with them about anything give me new knowledge. Sometimes it is hard fact about some area that I am familiar with or in an area that is new to me, and sometimes it is more about value and beliefs. All is connected to the prior knowledge and experience I bring with me. Sometimes that mean I have to change my opinion about something and sometimes it confirms what I already know and/or believe.

I also read a lot of books – both for just pleasure and for learning. To discuss novels in the book club gives me real insights in the other members’ life, but also about myself. And of course about the time or place the book is about. When I read in my professional work it is about learning a new area, getting deeper into something I already know and to prepare the lecture for the courses I teach in.

In the analog media area you also have newspaper, journals and TV. And I am not only talking about news on TV, you can learn a lot from sit comes and series as well from documentary and talk shows.

In the digital media part you find anything you can find on Internet. Social media is not a big part of my life. You do not find Facebook in it, because I am not part of that. And even though I am a member of LinkedIn and StayFriends (I think it is called MemoryLane in USA) I do not use it. Why? I prefer real people and my social life with real people takes much of my time so there is no time over to keep up with a lot of virtual contacts. The blogging we have to follow is through this course and that is something I also use in my profession (as a developer of software and teacher).

You can also find phone apps in the digital media part. There are many apps that are about knowledge (wordfeud uses prior knowledge) and right now I am hooked to something that is similar to Trivial Pursuit. You use prior knowledge and you learn new things. For example – I have recently learned that Hotchkiss is a French car and after discussing this with friends I will never forget it. I do not know when that knowledge will come in handy (besides getting points in the game), but when it does, I have it stored.

Whenever I need to find information quickly about something I Google and read different sites that I find. Google is a developer’s best friend; we use to say to our students. And it is, whenever you are stuck with a problem in how to write code, to use a certain algorithm or class, to find a simpler solution to what I am supposed to do, you Google. There is always someone that faced that problem and found a solution and is happy to share.

Then the question is; does my learning network fit in to the tenets of connectivism? Well, according to the theory it is a mix of technology, social network and information. And looking at my learning network that is true – I use technology to find information and in discussions with people (f2f or through technology) that information is connected to my prior knowledge and experience with the cultural dimension to it all. So, the answer is yes. Yes, my learning network fits into the tenets of connectivism.

(assignment in my course)

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