As I mapped my networks, I returned to David White’s visitor-resident typology mapping video (2013) to assist in the process. It became clear quite quickly that I have developed three fairly distinct networks: my professional network as a teacher, my new graduate school network as a Royal Roads MALAT student, and my personal network, comprised of historical connections and close relationships developed over time. This was not a surprising revelation, as my visitor-resident typology map produced similar results.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the avenues of connection and communication is significant, hence the inclusion of the various digital tools and platforms that connect the nodes of my networks. Leaping blindly into Kumu to create my map was initially an exercise in frustration, but after a break and a thorough review of the user guides, this became an engaging and enlightening activity.
Below are two views of my visual network map. These different views are an attempt to make sense of my networks, both in terms of how the various nodes are connected, and the purpose of each node and connection.
- The visual network map composed of elements and connections
- The map categorized according to tags attached to each element
This exercise led to two significant realizations. First, my professional identity has become a core element of my personal identity, and I am situated within networks that are related to my professional, and now graduate student, experiences. I am proud to be a teacher and a learner, and my work in public education is part of who I am. Also noticeable is the relatively small number of personal nodes. This does not mean that my personal networks are lacking; rather, it is an indication that those nodes operate in physical, synchronous moments and spaces outside of the digital world.
These truths will guide the cultivation of my digital identity and presence. As I progress through the MALAT program, my hope is to create thoughtful and meaningful connections between my graduate school work and my professional work as a teacher in Alberta’s public education system.
White, D. (2013). Just the Mapping [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK1Iw1XtwQ