The Internet brought with it both good and bad according to some people.
I would rather describe it as just is. The worlds most successful project in a contemporary context.
An electronic resource filled with interactions around information and systems of knowledge. An engineering feat and my key foci for future research endeavours.
I have always been (as some would know) interested in the identity management of data, particularly the identity awareness of research data.
For some reason the logic of systems comes easy to me but the complexities of humans using them along with the UX and UI design to ensure that things flow smooth...challenge me. Humans are weird creatures at times and they often confuse me with the myriad of ways they manifest.
So in 2006 I attended what I consider to be one of the pinnacle global events of my education career - The Future of Learning In A Networked World.
Key thinkers, philosophers and activists from all over the globe invited to join an travelling un-conference facilitated by the enigmatic and close mate, Leigh Blackall. I recall a breakfast conversation on Waiheke Island, Auckland where we avidly debated where we were heading pedagogically.
The Teach and Learn Online (TALO) and Future of Learning in a Networked World (FLNW) ‘unconferences’ and swap meets were also conducted in New Zealand in 2006, Thailand in 2008, the United States of America 2009, followed by Brazil in 2010 and Australia in 2011 brought researchers from many differing domains together to discuss the challenges of networked and mobile learning.
What a joy and blessing it has been to remain in contact with this network, this hybrid of souls bound forever it seems as long as notions of connectivism and the electronic ether we call the Internet remains alive.
During this year I made firm and fast friends with people from all over the world, participated in the most amazing of online forums, mobile blogging projects, connected and flexible learning projects.
I'm keeping this a short chapter as the hyperlinks alone speak a zillion words. With the onset of Facebook and the silo of Google Plus much of these networked connections are now bound in a conservative, "private" exchange of information.
In this time I learned to be open, to value my network, to see myself as an international researcher and to reach out to others to learn and grow as an individual, part of a greater whole. I published avidly and openly to the internet and do not regret any of my interactions however misguided at times with others.
My array of online personas have enabled me to see others grow and to grow along with them through time and space.
What a privilege it is to continue this journey, face-to-face and online.