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navigating chaos: notes toward a PLN

February 20, 2010

Headnote: primarily written for readers unfamiliar with multiliteracies and covering some ground previously blogged here. Part way through, I realized my explanation was stalking (softly, softly) the shape and dimensions on my own personal PLN so here is it… in all its inconclusiveness.

“Managing chaos” is an oxymoron. I’m changing out the expression for “navigating chaos” or “chaos coping.” A colleague uses “intuitive chaos navigation” (suggestive of Dune’s blind navigators on spice), but I’m not ready for that yet. The intuiting part not the spice. Wondering about the chaos part? Look at the tags.

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How much mail and such can I wade through this morning before ordering groceries and calling the electric company about billing (autopay fell off the wagon)? I do seem to be handling mail more efficiently thanks to tips from the EVO (Electronic Village Online,
pre-TESOL Annual Conference) multiliteracies workshop. I really fell behind this year, but feel I am getting much more out of this year’s workshop than previous ones.

That’s one prong of the forking pathways of retirement interests. It would be less confusing if they did not keeping crossing one another, economies of scale not withstanding. The workshop is online and covers/involves web 2.0 tools and social media.

By the end of the workshop, we are are supposed to construct either ePortfolios or PLN (Personal Learning Networks). PLN can evolve into a Personal Knowledge Management

Plan.I think this is where I’m headed but my conceptualization (mental grasp still exceeding reach) has yet to gel coherently.

Unlike the other workshop participants, I am retired from active teaching, on line or ground ~ or some mixture thereof. However, I am involved with an adjunct advocacy group and volunteer teach an occasional ESL class online. The former deals with academic politics
and issues; the latter with pedagogy. Both involve social media and have blogs.

See the social media and CMC (computer mediated communication) connection? The

thread in the maze that will lead me out and away from the minotaur… or take me down his maw.

So what about the rest of it? Bear with me, I’m getting there. I blog, not just here. A lot and about all these threads. I figure the “Knowledge Management Plan” will help me keep threads straight, in hand and untangled. It’s worth a try.

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Community blogging weaves into community involvement: local organizations, friendships, activities, announcing and promoting local events, activities and services, publishing opinions, news and information, keeping in touch with distant family, friends and former
colleagues. This last social media function uses email and Facebook more than blogging. For public announcements, short messages and information sharing, I’ve taken up tweeting. Several blogs are local: one eclectic and personal voiced, one straight up announcements minus soapboxes, one replacing the web page for an annual local event.

The local event blog is for a long standing annual poetry reading and writing workshop event. Tween times, it’s a general and rather eclectic poetry blog, going back and forth between local and non-local functions.

in addition to blogging and social media, I’ve been using rss feed reader and social bookmarking more and more to organize information and resources ~ knowledge management as it were. Both are proving useful in managing email overload as well as material to blog, tweet and forward (email endures, n’est-ce pas?)

There’s more but this will do for now. More to add will have to wait for part deux.

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One Comment
  1. Nina Liakos permalink

    Vanessa, just read your excellent post on dealing with chaos. I must agree that despite having fallen behind with Multiliteracies readings/listenings/tasks, I have also learned a lot during the session and have plenty to do once it "ends" (but multiliteracies does not "end" for us unless we stop participating) to keep the learning alive. Vanessa, it’s been great meeting you here and I hope we will stay in touch! 🙂

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