I have noticed the term ‘personal learning networks‘ being discussed in the literature. I think this concept is related to two areas frequently raised in the first round of interviews: 1) informal learning and 2) taking responsibility for one’s own learning and development.
Thus the information or knowledge use is very much determined by the user (the early career academic). A personal learning network suggests that various sources of information and knowledge – accessed through personal relationships and ties – are being consulted and informal information is used through piecing together the various sources, from a range of communication channels.
I will need to explore the notion of and literature about personal learning networks much further; at this stage I think it is a good way to (re?)frame the informal aspects I am talking about in my preliminary findings.