Infographics and Moving ZPD

I am feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment. Perhaps it is looking at this infographic (posted on 30th August 2011) depicting the growth of social media which is both interesting but unsettling. I was wanting to find some reliable statistics highlighting the growth of social media and web 2.0 technologies for my research and I came across this from the Search Engine Journal Website.

The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic
Source: The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

The statistics are already out of date because I am aware that Facebook now has over 1 billion users  which led me to examine why I was searching for this data in the first place. What do these statistics give me? A compelling argument to persuade educators that we really do live in a digital age? Perhaps, but I guess not. Rather this may appear to be a quagmire of baffling technologies that serve no purpose to many who have no inclination to “connect” to the rest of the world.

We really are on the cusp of great change. There is no turning back the tide as our lives are increasingly being lived online. I do feel that I am sometimes being sucked into the Web 2.0 vortex and feel under pressure to make further connections, explorations and discoveries.

I can relate to Siemens notion of Connectivism and do consider the pipe to be more important than the information that flows through it but where does it end, is there an end? How much surfing, connecting, posting, mashing, bookmarking, tweeting do I have to do before I feel settled that I have the information I need? Knowledge is limitless and perhaps that is where my frustration lies – never feeling satisfied. Collective knowledge is undoubtedly great but will I ever reach that nirvana of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development? It seems to me the more I extend outwards the further the goal posts move and this leaves me feeling a bit deprived. My tutor once told me I had epistemic curiousity – is that why I am writing this blog to try and fathom out what is most important?

Source: Ismael Peña-López at

Amongst the myriad of different technologies (all of which I want to try) how can we find the right tool for the job? There is a lot of exploration and experimenting to be done and that takes time. I need to make a decision on delivering a short presentation soon and I have tentatively thought about using;

….all of which are runners but where do I place my bets?

Perhaps I should connect to my various nodes to get more insights?

Alternatively, maybe I could sit here quietly, on my own, pen and paper in hand, and through a careful process of examination and elimination, look again at the odds and place my bet on gut instinct and experience, thereby getting the job done swiftly…

….although now I have no time because after all my trawling and being side tracked by infographics and great blog posts I still need to find Ismael Peña-López on Twitter as a More Knowledgable Other (MKO).

Therein lies the dilemma of Personal Learning Environments.

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