The Twitter Personal Learning Network and Biodiversity #edtech #pln

It has taken what seems like an awfully long time, and one major extended break, but I finally feel that I have a good grasp of using twitter for a range of different purposes  Living through interesting times at the moment and twitter has certainly been helping me to look outside of my situation and into a wide variety of others.  I also really feel that I have been learning extensively in and around my main interests of eLearning and education in general, factors around organisations but also about myself.

I woke up early this morning and started thinking of the Amazon jungle and what many people feel about the biodiversity there.  It starts from the proposition that there is so much biodiversity that there may be plants that have the potential to cure cancer.  A recent read of a basic primer on Complexity Science and Management brought up the idea that evolution is more than just random variability within genes bringing changes that cause natural selection.  The supposition was that the range of plants and animals that organisms come into contact with increases these tiny random variations, accelerating the process.  Hence the Amazon may not just have the solution to problems, but it is the most likely source of future natural solutions to problems.  I’m not saying whether this is true, but it is an interesting metaphor for using Twitter as a Personal Learning Network.

Obviously one of the first things you notice when you start using Twitter is the sheer deluge of content that fills your timeline and this can rapidly turn people off, and may also be a reason why many feel that it is purely a waste of time.  I too have had occasions when, using Twitter successfully, I have hardly ever looked at my home timeline.  The inspirational quotes, edtech marketing, what someone’s listening too all seemed too much.

However, having been forced into a strange dimension where normal behaviour has been put on hold, it has all started to come together in a totally new way and the combination of randomly accessing the tweets of hundreds of randomly tweeting people is showing the connectedness and interdependence of organisations.  The chaos and babbling of twitter is like the structured chaos of a large organisation taken to its extreme.  It is also the perfect vehicle for showing the beauty of humanity and the natural world, although I’m not pretending a dark side doesn’t exist!

So what am I saying?  The randomness of Twitter is beautiful, inspiring yet strangely efficient and effective.  I would not have been exposed to the range of ideas and topics associated with education and communication without it, or the factors that will hopefully influence my future.

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