I was out of town on a quasi-vacation most of this past week and I used my time in airports and on planes to read two library books. The first book I finished was The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Unlock Your Brain’s Untapped Potential by Tony and Barry Buzan. The second book was Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. Neither book is new, but I just got around to reading them.
I chose to read The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential because it was recommended in a writing guide that I read a couple of years ago. The Buzan brothers claim that Mind Mapping has the power to revolutionize your life. Often, they sound like salesmen, which of course they are; Tony Buzan has made a living off of workshops and paraphernalia related to Mind Maps. Despite this, I feel that the book gave good suggestions for note-taking and planning. I’ve decided to give the technique a try, so you will find my mind map for The Mind Map Book below.
I tried to follow the rules given in the book and I was fairly pleased with the results. My mind map for Linked turned out a little more cramped than I like, but I don’t intend to redo it, so here it is.
I chose to read Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means because I thought it might give me some useful background information as I begin my research into personal learning networks. I really enjoyed the conceptual explanation of the characteristics of scale free networks. I’m slightly wishing that I had majored in math or computer science so that I could specialize in network science. I’m interested in how the concepts of clustering, preferential attachment, competitive fitness, and directed networks apply to personal learning networks. How do we teach students to use network dynamics to their advantage? What role can explicit instruction play in the dynamics of a personal learning network? Also, I want to find the Granovetter paper on “The Strength of Weak Ties”.