Thursday, April 30, 2009

CMAP - Intro to Emerging Technologies

This is a concept map of how I saw the various elements of the Intro to Emerging Technologies course relating to each other.

I felt that the learning centred around three interrelated core concepts: literacies, identities and networks. These concepts were explored via theoretical consideration of some important associated issues. And they were given physical expression in practical applications.

For me, this describes series of interconnected events occurring simultaneously at different levels, rather than a strict chronology or sequence of elements.

As such, I opted for a concept map that uses space and colours to indicate relationships, rather than lines and arrows. Elements have been organized into levels and juxtaposed in relation to their neighbours to indicate their interconnections across levels.

Getting rid of the lines and arrows allowed me to freely lay my elements on the page and move them around without pre-structuring them into relationships that were either too simple to describe what was going on or too complex, resulting in multiple crisscrossed lines which rendered the map illegible.

I grouped the elements in each level into succeeding "nested nodes" and then formatted each level differently.

I'm happy with my choices. Although it takes careful reading, I think this map can be interpreted in quite a nuanced way. I also got to get a little more creative with the CMAP tool, which in itself was fun.

As always, I had to fight the aesthetic desire for symmetry when laying down and arranging my elements. There's always a danger that making the map pretty could overcome the functional objectives of the exercise, and the further danger that you then start trying to make your reality fit that map.

I have to say, though, it is a pretty map. Feels organic, like pebbles settled at the bottom of a pond. But it's only a map.

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