Sunday, July 7, 2013
The dictionary definition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/community ) of community, refers to "those living in the same locality", therefore community requires a commonality of location for individual participants.
When we consider this in the online world, the commonality of location is very important as this may be the only forum where dispersed participants or community members are able to meet. Therefore it seems to be essential that there is an online space that is a dedicated resource for the community to develop in and around, such as a LMS, website, wiki or blog.
So a learning community requires a collection of participants with a common desire to develop knowledge in a central accessible location where participants can feel secure.
Blogging is always an interesting exercise, as it often generates more questions for me, but perhaps that is the underlying purpose. I look forward to hearing my colleague's perspectives on learning communities to formulate a final understanding of what makes a learning community, particularly as it relates to online.
The following series of blogposts serve to support my participation in a unit of study which contributes to my Graduate Certificate of eLearning, 'eLearning Communities EDIT517'
In this post I will list learning communities that I have had experience with. In subsequent postings I will consider the definition of a learning community.
If you are interested in discovering in more detail my journey with eLearning so far you can refer to my previous blogpost, however to keep on track I will list the online learning communities that I have previously been involved in and briefly comment on the nature of the community and my involvement.
Australia eseries is a group of enthusiastic learning professionals from many areas of education and adult learning who come together to share information and collaborate with other professionals. As the name suggests it is targeted at Australian educators however it is not limited to Australia as they have connections with Steve Hargadon's 'Classroom 2.0 Live', being a similar American online learning community.
I have tracked the activities of the group on and off over the past 2 years and participated in some Webinars. There is always something going on with this group, to keep participants interested and the the community managers/facilitators encorage involvement by community participants.
C4LPT is an online learning community that is designed for an audience of workplace educators with a focus on workplace learning. The founder Jane Hart is famed for her annual compilation of Top 100 online tools for the year gone by.
I came across the work of Jane Hart when I first discovered the Internet Time Alliance.
I have not yet participated in one of the online courses on offer (at a small fee).
Communities of Practice (CoP) in my workplace setting
In my workplace there are several communities of practice that are currently available and I am involved in. below I have outlined 2 communities that require my involvement ad part of my job role.
- NSW Learning CoP comprises various L&D professionals from within my organisation, from Commercial Insurance (CI) Personal Insurance (PI) and Learning Advice Services (LAS) who come together bi-monthly or quarterly via Video conference to discuss current issues and share ideas. I have actively participated in this community in an effort to organise and conduct the synchronous sessions to enable the community to 'stay alive' amongst the many busy participants.
- National Training Capability Leader (TCL) CoP Is a newly formed community forum. Whilst the participants within the community have all been working in the same capacity for over 2 years, the synchronous forums (via Video conference) have only just commenced. This will be a good example of a developing community that I will be able to observe as it grows and develops. I have had little to do with the co-ordination of this community and intend to involve myself as a participant rather than a coordinator.
There are many learning communities that I would like to be involved with however my work and home commitments do not allow the time. One community that I am very keen to further explore is Jokaydia particularly as it relates to Massively Minecraft (Minecraft is currently my 10 year old son's 'thing')