Friday, March 13, 2009

CMAP - Intro to ETL & my learning environments

This is a concept map I did of how the Intro to ETL course fits into my wider learning environments.

I like this c-map because it contains cycles within cycles. The pre-existing learning environment, itself a cycle, is part of the larger cyclical structure of the current learning environment.

I see the cycles operating as mini-motors on the page, like cell structures powering a cell.

The element of time, which snakes across the map in red, lays out the chronological pathway that my learning has followed as I enter new situations with new information needs. The new knowledge gained is then transferred back into pre-existing and current knowledge cycles.

I consciously included two aspects I liked from the Collection of PLE diagrams studied during Week 2 of the course:
  1. The idea of environments nested within environments, which I got from Joyce Seitzinger's diagram.
  2. The element of time and a history of learning, which I got from Jeremy Hiebert's diagram.
Constructing this map helped me define and categorize the types of learning I have been doing in each of my learning contexts:

While the institutional context requires production, the community context allows for reflection and relationship building, and my personal web spaces provide opportunities for creative experimentation.

The ETL program is helping to organize all of these forming concepts and practices into a more comprehensive and comprehensible whole. At least that's what I'm hoping, as my learning pathway snakes forward.

In doing the map, I had to better learn
the language of CMAP to depict relationships between the different elements on the page.

In particular, I spent time thinking about:
  • whether arrows should be two-way or one-way (I settled on two-way to show knowledge sought and transferred flowing in both directions)

  • what to put as descriptions on the links between the elements (I ended up using verbs to express the action that was being taken in that link)

  • how to indicate time in a non-linear, multi-cyclical diagram (I went for a cascading sequence of cycles and the red time line)
The ability to communicate succinctly visually -- worth a thousand words, they say.

All part of building up my digital literacy.

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