Geo-Diversity. A geodiverse network of professional learners. The more diverse, in terms of global coverage, the stronger the likelihood of having access to some of the most brilliant minds in the world within my professional interests, namely the teaching of English.
In a previous post I contrasted my networks. I found them to be of two types, resonant and non-resonant.
A resonant professional network is one in which the members all share a common, almost defining, interest. In the case of my Facebook network, that has been the teaching and learning of English.
A new dimension that has recently been added is my membership in the #CCK11 Facebook group. What brings us together is our common, defining interest in sharing all things of potential interest to those people who are interested in delving into the new learning theory of Connectivism.
Stepping back, then, my resonant behaviour on Facebook has been guided by my love of being a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language on the one hand, and on the other, by my desire to learn theoretical knowledge which I hope to transform into practical benefits, not only for me personally, but more importantly, for my students.
Yet both of these motivators have to accept its non-diversity status. There are obvious benefits to learning from the best in your field. Likewise, there are clear benefits to learning with and from people who share the same passion toward a particular learning theory, connectivism, as I do. There is no doubt here.
The one charge that the naysayer, or Devil’s Advocate, could bring here is that we are “feeding on ourselves”. This has the characteristics of an incestual relationship, that sooner or later, will bring forth ill-formed, or incomplete, genetic fruits. Let’s go to the extremes and call this a potential monster, a Frankenstein.
If I accept this, then it follows that I don’t desire incomplete genetic fruits, much less giving birth to a personal Frankenstein. So what then, is the logical conclusion, in terms of my networked behaviour?
Yes, it’s logical, isn’t it? The answer: a compensatory, non-resonant professional network, which has as its guiding principle only one factor: shared humanity.
For me, it’s the equivalent of being a four-year old on a playground and a new kid comes on the playground. What’s the criteria for friendship? 🙂 Right. We’re both kids. And nothing else matters. The adult parallel criteria is equally simple. We’re both human. And nothing else matters. This then is the guiding force behind how my Linkedin professional network came to be what it is today.
Interestingly enough, my Linkedin network is twice as large as my Facebook network. It seems there are more people on the planet willing to be friends with me than there are Teachers of English as a Foreign Language waiting for an invitation from me to be my friend. 🙂
Still, as I revisited the concepts of resonance and non-resonance, I felt that there was something I didn’t know. And one day, today, as a matter of fact, I realized what it was. My Linkedin network looks like a vortex, with me in the center. It truly covers the world as completely as I believe possible, in a geodiversity sense.
And so I turned my attention to my Facebook PLN. I was able to generate a Geo-Diversity map which pinpointed the locations of my networked colleagues. (use a Facebook app called where my friends are on a map) It is clearly evident, looking at the map, that there are significant gaps in my global coverage of Teachers of English.
To remedy this, I need to pay more attention to those existing possibilities to establish connections with Teachers of English living in areas of the world that are underrepresented in my present Geo-Diversity map. In a year’s time, I hope to present a truly complete map of networked Teachers of English, spanning the globe. It likely means to expand my networking tools to accomplish this, but it is doable, accomplishing this beautiful networked vision, of that I’m sure.
Now, why would that be a good thing? To have a network with truly global coverage would be good for me because I would be certain, not to, (Quote: Ruth Demitroff) “…waste a single brain.” (End of quote). Especially not the brain of this little boy in India…