the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.“the principles and practice of teaching”
I have been asked to respond to the following two questions:
What are your thoughts and experiences with ‘Communities of practice’ – theory and real life observations?
How important is it to belong to and learn with a community (#such as INF537). Given a choice would you prefer to work/learn alone? Why?
Communities of practice are groups of people who share concerns or a passion for something they do – and very importantly learn how to do it better via regular interaction (Wenger, 2011). The following few Twitter interactions, taken from one of many from my previous week of online interactions, demonstrate this idea very succinctly.
Earlier this week I reached out with a simple question:
Have you developed ideas on Open Pedagogy or anything similar?
— Simon (@aus_teach) July 23, 2017
I very quickly obtained a response that presented to me an ocean of ideas and possibilities that collided with mine, providing a rich learning experience.
— Jesse Stommel (@Jessifer) July 23, 2017
My discussion also led to me bumping into the following tweet that provided an interesting viewpoint on digital pedagogies, which I have been exploring actively over the last few years.
— Naomi Barnes (@DrNomyn) July 25, 2017
Each of these chance interactions hints at a limitless exchange of ideas that can lead to very meaningful professional discovery.
Over the last six plus years of very active online participation, I have experienced first hand the networked contexts and encounters that I am currently exploring while being mindful of the digital futures of education and pedagogy. It is within these communities of practice where theories of digital learning become a reality. For example, it is where concepts such as connectivism (the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections), paragogy (Corneli & Danoff, 2011) and peeragogy (Rheingold, 2012) become part of my everyday practice and scholarship.
With the digital futures of education in mind, it is here that we need to take our peers and students to allow them to learn that good learning is social.
Corneli, J., & Danoff, C. J. (2011) Paragogy. In: Proceedings of the 6th Open Knowledge Conference, Berlin, Germany. Retrieved from http://metameso.org/~joe/docs/Paragogy-talk-PDF.pdf
Rheingold, H. (2012). Toward peeragogy. DML Central, 23 [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://dmlcentral.net/blog/howard-rheingold/toward-peeragogy
Wenger, E. (2011). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/11736