Train tracks of learning


As I attempt to be a “good learner” of sewing, I frequently find myself facing directional decisions. Which way to go, what advice do I take on board, who is an “authoritative figure” in this instance and who is here for themselves.

For me, this has raised many questions regarding how networks are made and how does information flow.

Siemens (2011) refers to Krebs in his analysis of social networks,

It is usually beneficial to be connected to those who have a good view of what is going on. Information and knowledge is often shared [intentionally or unintentionally] with trusted others, close by. Information leaks and flows, but never too far. Board members who are connected to other highly-aware Board members, have a higher probability of finding out more — but the range is limited.

In his article, Siemens (2011) goes on further to state that these networks have always existed, but now through social networking sites, these networks are very explicit. He looked at ways to qualitatively analyse the how and why information flows through networks. He suggests looking at the individual and the context for which they are posting as to why someone is more likely to be followed. But most importantly, he suggests that it is the message the individual is conveying.

Siemens indicates that relevance and resonance are important factors for knowledge flow.

As a learner of sewing, engaging with various networks of people, I differentiate ‘good advice’ from ‘bad advice’ by how many followers someone has, the scope of their comments, the context the individual finds them-self in, and more importantly, if what they say resonates with my current knowledge and experience and the experience of others in the network.


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