What an exciting achievement….
Whooooaa! Hooooooo!!! Yippeeee!!! Woot! Woot!
I had to do that, and now its over with. Thank you for bearing with me.
I’ve never written a conference paper or presented before, so the New Librarians’ Symposium (NLS) this year will be a significant milestone for me as a new information professional, as well as a stepping stone towards presenting in the future. Presenting at the New Librarians’ Symposium will provide the opportunity to share my learning and experiences with establishing and developing my PLN, (hopefully) encourage and guide my peers in developing one of their own, to benefit from collaborative learning, current awareness of issues and professional development opportunities.
Time to report on how I’m going with the project….
I’m currently (still) doing the literature review on key, supporting concepts – personal learning networks and the e-learning theory of connectivism. From my initial findings and the #CCK11 course, I’ve found two more concepts, network theory and personal learning environments (PLE). All four concepts are highly relevant to my paper, but the question that keeps running around my head is, when do I stop looking for, reading and reviewing literature? I’ve also thought about the kind of literature I should be seeking. I’ll explain….in terms of academic literature, there really isn’t a lot out there, both for personal learning networks and connectivism. However, does the PLN concept have a place in formal, academic literature? There are large amounts of opinions and thought sharing on the concept through blog posts and presentations, so should I be looking at these resources? And if so, where do I start to find quality content? The very nature of a PLN suggests the best place to start would be my own PLN, twitter and RSS feeds, and having a look for content authored by the leaders I already follow.
I ran into the same issues with the last literature review I completed for my studies. Not so much the source of the literature, but the “where do I stop?” dilemma. I need to learn to set boundaries for myself and stop “the hunt” when I start going in circles. I guess these skills come with (loads of) practice. I’ll get there.
I’ve developed a concept map, initially on paper (which always works!), however I tried using the free version of MindNode to replicate. (On a side note, I’ve found MindNode to be quite limiting, I can’t show connections between concepts on different “branches”.) The concept map is not ideal, but its a start (at least for one in electronic format). Suffice to say I’m on the look out for more useful concept/mind map software, if anyone has any suggestions?
Other tools I’ve been using to help me out with managing the project and methodologies are: -
- Evernote – to record random notes and capture web content and links
- Mendeley – to store and organise PDF articles/literature
- Twitter/ Hootsuite
- EasyTask – task management program
- Calendar – tried and true month by month print outs to show project-specific due dates/schedule (I need a constant visual at my desk)
- Diigo – to store bookmarks I envision I’ll use after the project
- WordPress blog (of course!)
While on the subject of methodologies, I had a “lightbulb” moment approximately a week ago about my approach to collecting data on my participation and contributions to my PLN – on Twitter and my blog. I’ve been recording what I’m contributing, but not the return conversation – my “mentions” on Twitter, or the comments I receive on my blog. Tah-dah! Of course! PLNs are about “give and take”, so ideally I need to capture both sides of the conversations I’m having.
So up to this point, I’m a bit behind in my schedule I’ve set for myself, but all in all, I think I’m doing well. I did miss a scheduled post two weeks ago due to illness. I don’t like falling behind or skipping tasks. As long as I keep reverting back to my abstract, I can maintain focus on my goal and purpose of the paper.
My next steps for the project are: -
- Finishing up the literature review
- Review notes made/ thoughts captured in Evernote
- Start to organise my notes into a structure for the paper
- Review my abstract (also to assist with outline and structure)
- Get writing!
PLN Participation Update
# of Tweets for fortnight 60
# of Followers gained 2
# of Mentions 40
# of People I started following 1
# of Blogs/Feeds added 1
Top 5 Blogs I’m reading at the moment