While reviewing Utect’s five ‘Stages of Personal Learning Network Adoption’, I could not decide if I had evolved to Stage 2 and evaluating what I have or still caught in Stage 1 and continuing to immerse myself in every piece of information I can locate.
In reviewing my information gathering tendencies, I believed that I had moved beyond the addictive processes of Stage 3 with its need to be constantly connected and knowing it all. Although, in progressing through INF506, I find I am utilizing in depth, a number of different social media and networking platforms that I have only skimmed or would not have even contemplated using before. The need to learn as much as I can about these platforms in the performance of this course constantly keeps looping me back to Stage 1, 2 and 3.
As an information immigrant, I purposefully use information on an as needed basis. To support this intention I have sampled/dabbled in various social networking sites and judge their usefulness as they correspond to my requirements. By not trying to ‘do it all’ I am blending Stage 4 and 5 and disconnecting from the constant ‘need for knowledge’ and balancing my learning of new things with its immediate usefulness and relying on information being there to tap into at a later date.
After completion, I was surprised that my concept map contained as much as it does, pre INF506 the map would be fairly barren. While I had been a ‘user‘ of Facebook, it was primarily for social purposes. My Blogging and LinkedIn experiences started as a one-way interaction for work, but now includes my ‘Climbing the library ladder’ blog, reflecting my progress through my Masters as well as the professional contacts I have acquired. This course has added Diigo, Twitter, Flickr and Second life to my repository.
The content of my PLN is still a work in progress; the major gap in my PLN involves currently not being employed in the education network. Being on the outside looking in limits my contacts, but I intend to continue to develop the ‘agencies’ I have to interact and build on my teaching and librarianship information. What is evident is that networking online is not a passive activity; I can no longer remain a lurker, if I am to be part of a global PLN community I must evolve and also give rather than just take information.