Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Seven Degrees of Connectedness

What’s the most significant event that causes you to pay closer attention to the learners in your network? For me, it is meeting face-to-face. I’m more attuned to those people in my learning network whose voices are amplified because we met at a conference; exchanged stories; shared a meal. Fleshed out by personality and attitude, I find myself savouring the words and ideas I consume online.

The framework below was developed with the assistance of Zoe Branigan-Pipe, who is helping to bring co-learners to life through a collaborative project called 140 Voices. More will follow on that project, but for now, I’d be interested to know where you see yourself in what I'm calling "The Seven Degrees of Connectedness".

The thing is - I see myself in different stages with different people and groups. I'm wondering, where you see yourself in the different relationships you’ve developed? Each stage of connectedness has impacted my learning in different ways.  Have you had similar experiences?  Explicit actions lead from one stage to another, but maybe the stages are not sequential...

The Seven Degrees of Connectedness

Stage 1: Lurker
“Hey other people are sharing some cool ideas on their blogs.
“So many people are saying things I agree with...”
“I follow folks on Twitter, but I’m too shy to say anything" 
"I don’t feel I have anything worthwhile to add.”
"How do I get people to follow me back?"

Stage 2: Novice
“When I join in on the conversation people actually talk back to me.”
“I love when other people agree with what I’m saying.”
“I like to read a few blogs.”
“I participate in a few live chats.”
“I comment on blog posts every now and then.”
“I love my PLN!”

Stage 3: Insider
“The same names keep coming up in my stream.”
“I’m beginning to know many of these familiar names and faces.”
“I am part of a PLN.”
“When I’m offline, I feel like I’m missing out.”
“I follow conference hashtags and have refined twitter lists.”

Stage 4: Colleague
“I love when I meet people face-to-face at a conference or event.”
“I sometimes begin conversations by sharing my TwitterID."
“I have degrees of relationships within my PLN.”
"I rely on my network for the most important news."
“I have included the same people in more than one network.”
“Would you join my class for a presentation on _______ ?”
Stage 5:
“Why don’t we start a Google Doc to share our ideas?”
“Want to put in a workshop proposal with me?"
“I’ll see you at the tweet-up before the conference.”
“Can you help me with a project with my students?”
“Let’s get our students collaborating on a blog!”
“How about a weekly Math Challenge between our classes?”
“Our class wants to learn about your country.”
“Sure, I’ll add a post to that collaborative blog!”

Stage 6: Friend

“It feels like we’ve known one another for a long time.”
“At conferences, I’d rather meet face-to-face with my online colleagues than attend workshops.”
“I am comfortable to ask my PLN for help or advice about my work.”
“I know some of the personal details about the people in my network.”
“I care about the well-being of these people.”

Stage 7: Confidant

“I wish the people in my school were as helpful as you are.”
“Can you proof-read my latest blog post?”
“Would you like to meet for lunch?”
“When are you coming to town? We have to get together!”
“How are you feeling?" "Do you want to talk about it?”
“I have an idea, can we Skype?”
“I would rather talk to you in person, can you just call me.”

Is a framework like this worth discussing, or refining.  Can it serve as an introduction to the concept of a personal learning network?  Does it help you make sense of the wide range of relationships you've been building with online colleagues?  I'd love to know your thoughts...

Image Credit: Seven by Losmininos
blog comments powered by Disqus