Saturday, November 23, 2013

My PLN is my take on Internet Lingo

Since my post of October 26, 2013 entitled, PLNs, our way of ‘speaking’ the new language, I have not only been thinking about the Internet as one of humanity’s major languages, but I have been reading theorists AND writing a paper called, Zombie Lingo, with fellow U of A grad student Sean Jones. The thesis of the paper is that the Internet is one of humanity's large complex communication systems, called 'language' and that Twitter is a specific example of such a system. We analyze the event‐game‐learning‐experience of Twitter vs. Zombies to see if it fits the criteria of a Twitter language within the larger communication system of the Internet.

Robert K. Logan, in his paper, Making sense of the visual - is Google the seventh language?, claims that there are seven languages of humanity, each one evolving in response to an information overload in the language that preceded it. The languages in evolutionary order are; speech, written language, math, science, computers, Internet/ World Wide Web and  Google (search engines). Stephen Downes explores and expands on many of these ideas in, The Buntine Oration: Learning Networks.

In the language of the Internet, sequence is not the single most important consideration and full absorption of content is neither possible nor necessary. Logan claims the language of the Internet is characterized by; two-way communication, ease of access of information, continuous learning, alignment and integration and finally community.

In November of 2012, Jesse Stomell and Pete Rorabaugh launched Twitter vs. Zombies, a three day, synchronous, event‐game‐learning‐experience with simple rules that evolved through crowd-sourcing. Twitter vs. Zombies was open to anyone with the motivation to participate and access to the Internet. What resulted was an amazingly rich, syntactically congruent, semantically cohesive language of communication that serves as a prime example of Logan’s 6th language of humanity. Stomell's thoughts about the process helped us conclude that Twitter vs Zombies is a good example of the 6th human language.

My views regarding the language of the Internet are evolving daily. As our Zombie Lingo paper points out, there are many theorists who have been considering these ideas long before us. So . . . how does all of this relate to my Personal Learning Network (PLN)? I think my PLN is my own individual linguistic, ever changing take on Internet Lingo. The filter forward aspect of my PLN is part of the brain-augmentation necessary for understanding the newly evolved language (i.e. it helps me filter the overwhelming amount of information so that I can “abosrb and understand”). Additionally, the artifacts I create, curate and share within my PLN are my way of communicating in Logan’s 6th language. Comments, responses, links and the like constitute dialogue.

I think this is an area that I will be exploring for a long time to come!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Drinking from the Stream

Did I fall off the face of the earth in the last week?

Well, in a way I did. I had a research grant proposal that was due on Thursday, a mini family emergency I had to attend to in a city 3 hours drive away (there and back on Wednesday) an assignment due in my qualitative inquiry class that is worth 55%, a new website (that I am a major contributor to) going live on Friday and I had committed to F2F participation in #EdCampYEG today (Saturday). . . so instead of having an active presence in XLPRPLN this week I took on the role of a "sampler" - I do like that term better than lurker!

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the digital stream let alone daily life. A crucial role my PLN plays for me is that it acts as one of my filter mechanisms. I had not promised any participation in XPLRPLN this week and I had to trust that my absence would not be viewed as an affront to anyone and that life would carry on without me. My metaphor for NOT becoming overwhelmed is - I can drink from the stream to replenish, refresh and grow but I should never try to drink the whole stream.

Oh how I wanted to respond the the questions and conversations @tanyalau and @essigna were having as they sought clarification and teased apart the idea that a PLN might be a form of language. I will respond . . . soon.

I think the idea of doing a dance with your level of interaction with your PLN is an important aspect that ought to be in the drivers manual for all new PLN operators!