To map your PLN, use a tool such as Google Draw, Coggle, Miro, a Teams Whiteboard template or even PowerPoint (see more Visual Organizer Tools in the Extend Toolkit), to create a visual diagram of the people, organizations, collectives, and others who are in your network. If creating a visual diagram presents a barrier for you, you can map your PLN by creating an audio, video, or written reflection. Whatever the format, be prepared to upload your work or provide a URL to its location in your response to this activity.
- Identify a focus of your PLN. It could be your academic discipline or professional area, a topic on which you’ve already done some research or work, or a learning interest that you’re passionate about.
- Place your topic somewhere on your map. (You might put it in the central node, but remember, you are the centre of your learning network!)
- Identify a few people who already belong to your network as it relates to your interest or topic. These will be your nodes. They might be colleagues, influential educators, mentors, or people you’ve met at conferences or events. They could also be members of professional organizations. These are your existing connections.
- Think of a few more nodes that you may not yet know personally but who you would like to include in your network and add those nodes. Who are the noted scholars or experts in your area of interest that you might follow? (Note: you can tap into your Cultivate your PLN activity to use some of your new connections.)
- Map the nodes (names) that you’ve identified onto your diagram. Your diagram should include at least 5 nodes by name (i.e., specific individuals and organizations).
- Add details to each of the nodes in your PLN. Review your map and identify any patterns that emerge. For example, you might categorize the following in the design of your diagram (e.g., by grouping, or by using different colours, symbols, or text labels):
- Their role (e.g., educator, science researcher, blogger).
- Their role in your network (e.g., collaborator, mentor, provocateur, consultant).
- The relative weight of the connection (e.g., strong tie, weak tie).
- The reciprocity of the connection (e.g., one-way, dialogue).
- The technologies you use to connect to your network.
- The relationships between the different nodes (i.e., identify clusters of nodes who may interact).
- Anything else that helps to illustrate your interactions—past, present, or future—with your network.
- Export your diagram (or other) to an image format. Upload it or use a link to the image in your response to the Mapping Your PLN.
- After you make your submission, save the web address to your response (found in the green confirmation box) so you can use it later for your badge submission form.
Example for "Mapping your PLN":