Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Participating in an Online Community~Week 1, Post 1

Disclaimer: This post is part of course requirements following this assignment: Extend your identity in the direction of your career path and participate in a new online community. Interact online using your projected identity for at least six weeks. Think deeply about identity and learning and blog twice a week about your experience. Take time to analyze the meaning, power, and constraints of the community on your learning.
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Week 1, Post 1

“We can all construct a fairly good picture of the communities of practice we belong to now, those we belonged to in the past, and those we would like to belong to in the future.” Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice, page 6.

The group I choose must proceed “in the direction” of my career path. This leaves lots of choices because my career path has been varied, with my dives in and out of education, banking, business, technology integration, professional staff development, hospital program admin., the LLC, writing, and now, higher education.  At this time, because of my Doctoral studies and the innovative things I am learning, which future path I’ll take is also undetermined. However, I do feel inclined that whatever direction my career path goes, I will be showing people new things. I need what Joe Gerstandt describes as social gravity which is “the force that attracts opportunity, ideas, and information. Social gravity creates intersections with other people.” And who better to encompass innovative and creative thinking than Science Fiction readers!

This seems to track with the Science Fiction book I’m reading. There are so many possibilities for problem-solving and plot devices in Science Fiction books. One of my favorites things to do is read book recommendations on Goodreads, especially the opinions of my daughter. I originally joined Goodreads to keep up with her reviews and receive book recommendations. My participation was sporadic at best. I had never joined a Group on Goodreads. (Actually, I am not a big joiner of many Groups.) But this assignment from class wasn’t going to finish itself, so last Sunday, August 25, 2013, I joined the Science Fiction Writer’s Group.

This group fits Wenger’s definition of a Community of Practice (CoP) because:

1.) group members share a common interest in Science Fiction, which correlates to Wenger’s “Mutual Engagement”
2.) there is a stated purpose to extend knowledge in Science Fiction genre, which correlates to Wenger’s “Joint Enterprise”
3.) group members learn from each other through their mutually beneficial sharing relationship, which correlates to Wenger’s “Shared Repertoire”

Here is my first post, which was an Introduction post.

Hi Everyone, I am “ByTheFire Reading” and this is my first post in my first group on Goodreads. I am currently reading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” I have enjoyed Fantasy books since junior high and high school, but I have never really read much Science Fiction and I really don’t know why. I would like to find the answer here. And I wonder, does Hitchhiker’s Guide “fit” in Science Fiction? Any answers and recommendations are welcome.

The SciFi and Fantasy Book Club has 9887 members and 3 moderators. The 3 moderators are known as the “Czar,” “Czarina,” and “Originator.” Members reside across the globe, but apparently confined only to our planet.

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Book Source:

Gerstandt, Joe. (2012). Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge Univ Pr.

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