Visual Network Mapping
by Michael MacKay
May 6th, 2020
In this post, you will find my professional network map. I focused on professional development as I wanted the scope of this project to be relevant to my goals of this program. People included in this visual diagram have had some recent impact on my professional development as an educator in the last few years. I highly debated adding contacts from previous university courses and non-professional sources but felt it would only serve to make the map more congested. Below you will find an overview of the map which is organized by the platform or organization used for communication.
To better understand the connections between people, platforms and organizations I organized each connection by specific colours. Below you can find a short description for each element.
- An individual that I have had one on one communication, either as a learner or instructor.
- An subset of an organization that focuses primary on K – 12 education.
- A section focused on contacting individuals that I have had previous connections with but have moved on to other vocations or areas of expertise.
- A section focusing on me consuming knowledge or learning new a skill set.
- The current people I connect with through the MALAT program offered by Royal Roads
- A group of people that I had communicate with as either a learning or instructor.
Reflection on Map
As I created this map, revised it, and decided on its scope, I noticed that I tend to keep my networks separate from each other. Out of necessity, I tend to keep my professional and personal lives utterly independent of each other. It is likely that I subconsciously used this categorization in my online networks. I am unsure whether this is beneficial.
I tend to be an inquisitive person and love to learn new skills and explore my ideas. I am part of many different communities of practice, professionally and personally. Veletsianos refers to three dimensions of a community of practice, “mutual engagement, negotiation of joint enterprises, and a shared repertoire” (2016, p. 245). Echoing Velesianos analysis, I have found that these communities have many written and unwritten rules that focus on keeping engagement relevant to the content they are exploring. In normal circumstances, this unspecified structure is needed, but it does impede the possibility of interconnection between disciplines. Following this natural separation could be another reason for the lack of cross-contamination of my networks.
Another trend I noticed while creating this map is that I could have two professional maps—one for education and another for coding and software development. While there is some overlap, focusing on some courses I teach and after-school programs that I run, the two networks could function entirely independently from each other. I find that this is not from a lack of trying to connect the two networks, but because there are very few individuals that have suitable education and experience to negotiate the effective marriage of these two professions. The lack of bridging in these disciplines is somewhat discouraging as there are so many foundational concepts that are shared between the two, such as the need to scaffold the user experience and creating meaningful events to retain said experiences.
In closing, I am not sure if the separation of my networks should be viewed positively or negatively. I feel that it is somewhere in the middle, as I do not want to dump unwanted knowledge on an unwilling audience, but it also does not fill the scarcity of knowledge and skills between the two disciplines.
Veletsianos, G. (2016). Digital Learning Environments. In The Wiley Handbook of Learning Technology (pp. 242–260). https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118736494.ch14