In exploring my own learning network, it was interesting to see how it flows and changes depending on my current interests and focus. Having said that, there were definite connections within my network that are strong enough to make it very difficult to pull away from even if I wanted to. Those connections were not necessarily personal but did seem almost like a mutually symbiotic relationship nonetheless. In fact, looking at my network was almost like looking at an ecosystem where the level of benefit for one side changed or balanced itself out in other areas of the network.
When applying this to the threshold concept framework (Kligyte, 2009), I can see that my own involvement in NGL is most definitely irreversible. Not only can some of my relationships not be let go of easily, I find that I cannot imagine life before I had the ability to easily be able to make those connections. Whether they are temporary or long-lasting, each relationship is important to me and helps me to grow and evolve just as my network does. It also means that I can grow beyond the limitations of what is around me locally. Each area of my network contains different understandings of the world from different perspectives. My gaming web might have difficulty stepping into the section of my network web that focuses on pedagogy, due to the different ways of communicating and exploring topics. For example, if I said something like…
“Yesterday I joined a pug that was full of n00bs so we didn’t get past the first boss and then the tank ragequit so the group fell apart.”
…a lot of the people in my pedagogy web may not understand. However, in the context of learning, that could be like saying,
“Yesterday I joined a project group that was full of underachievers so we didn’t get past the first group activity and then the leader stormed out so the group fell apart.”
So while the language is different, often the concepts or issues are similar. In this case, the issue would be about how to work within a group to complete an activity where the members need to work together to achieve an outcome. I guess from thinking about these differences, the real skill and real learning that comes from NGL is more often in the strands between the webs, where two seemingly different concepts come together to form new ideas. As Kligyte put it, NGL ‘introduces a new language and reveals the
underlying principles of operating in a world where information is distributed over a multitude of modes and sources’. The strength of NGL is the different backgrounds and perspectives of all the people involved, bringing something new to the table.
I’m looking forward to seeing how our class can work together with all the talents such as Nikki’s talent with creative writing, Samanthi’s musical talents, Mitchell’s stories of firefighting and more come together. Perhaps it will help me to learn about children’s story writing. Perhaps it could be a book about a little girl who’s parent make her play the piano because she is a musical prodigy, but all she wants to be when she grows up is a firefighter! 🙂