Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Participating in an online community~Week 6 Post 2

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. ~~~~

Week 6, Post 2

My online group chose The Long Earth as its December book choice. Its authors are Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter and it received the Goodreads’ Choice Award in the category Science Fiction in 2012. I found out about the book choice from the weekly emails and discussion forums composed by our Science Fiction and Fantasy Book group’s moderator. Included in the picture below is a sample of our discussion forum, the moderator’s post to seed the discussion, and my response. Within a few minutes of my post, other posts also appeared.

science fiction groups' post

Science fiction book group’s posting with personalized data redacted.

I began this assignment on September 2, 2013. Although uncertain as to the actual path my future work life will take, I knew that it would involve new ideas and that I would somehow help people integrate the change which accompanies new things. On Sunday, August 25, 2013, I made a big change and joined the Science Fiction Writer’s Group. I was warmly received, invited to participate, encouraged in my posts, given book recommendations and even a few plot spoilers. Along the path of this assignments, applications from authors McLuhan, Adams, Carr, Jenkins, Shirkey, and Dijick stood out like freshly dressed soldiers ready for inspection. (a complete list of authors is included below.)

Change is scary. Just watch how the performer Bjork describes her encounter with television:

Bjork explaining TV

 

Change is scary for me too. I discovered that since change is scary for many of us, these gently encouragements served as a cushion to my new experience. Also, the quick replies to my questions and posts from the moderators and group members helped me to move from outsider to peripheral to occasional and almost to active status, as Etienne Wenger predicted in Communities of Practice.

CofPLevelsofParticipation

And it all began with Etienne Wenger. Hearing him speak along with his wife was a highlight of this semester. Communities can be achieved in face-to-face settings and online protocols as long as the people within each of them continue to participate.

Thank you for reading these posts! And thank you, Dr. Paul Sparks for these invitations to explore and change!

~~~

Comprehensive Source List:

Adams, D. (1995). The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Del Rey. Link

Carr, N. (2008). Is google making us stupid? The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

Couros, George. The Principal of Change Blog. Retrieved September 15, 2013 Link

Dijck, José van (2013). The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media. Oxford University Press. Link

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

Gray, D. E. (2009). Doing research in the real world (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Link keywords=Doing+research+in+the+real+world

Jenkins, Henry (2008-09-01). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (Kindle Locations 3040-3041). NYU Press. Kindle Edition. Link

McLuhan, Marshall (1967). The Medium is the Message. Gingko Press Inc. Link

Pratchett, T and Baxter, S. (2012). The Long Earth. Harper Collins. Link

Shirkey, Clay. (2010). Cognitive Surplus How Technology Makes Consumers Into Collaborators. Penguin Books. Link

Shirkey, Clay (2010). How cognitive surplus will change the world | Video on TED.com. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world.html

Simmons, A. (2013). Facebook has transformed my students’ writing—for the better. The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/11/facebook-has-transformed-my-students-writing-for-the-better/281563/

Sullivan, D. (2013, September 26). [Lurkers And Superfans: Why You Need Both In Your Facebook Communities]. Retrieved from http://allfacebook.com/crowdly-dan-sullivan-superfans-lurkers_b125468

Turkle, Sherry (2012). Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition. Link

Wasko, Molly McLure and Faraj, Samur (2000).  It is what one does: why people participate and help others in electronic communities of practice. The Journal of Strategic Information SystemsVolume 9, Issues 2–3, September 2000, Pages 155–173.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge University Press. Link

 

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Participating in an Online Community~Week 4 Post 2

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.

Week 4, Post 2

Thinking about Marshall McLuhan and Etienne Wenger today. I am excited about the news that Wenger will be speaking to our doctoral group in just a few days.

I wonder if Wenger would agree with McLuhan who wrote, “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which humans communicate than by the content of the communication.” The Medium is the Massage (1967) I tend to nod toward content being king, especially in print media. I received this email just a few days ago. What struck me was the shift in language used by companies offering credit services. In the early days of credit cards, the themed idea centered around extending credit and allowing users to request inclusion in the credit organizations’ community. As potential customers, we were on the outside looking in.

I see a distinct trending difference in media advertisements today. Companies are reaching not only one but two hands to embrace and welcome potentials to their community. Community invitation is built on welcomed engagement. Notice the copy below. What words highlight an enticing community experience?

anexclusiveinvitation

What did you notice? I saw these words: Opportunity/connect/share/issues you face/online community/feedback/impact creation

What was that? “Impact creation”? I am invited to enter at advisor status and impact creation? Pretty heady stuff! The stickiness of the advisors concept matriculates a person from customer to user to account holder to advisor.

Dan Sullivan writes about the fan page of Nilla Wafers, “Validation is the currency of the social Web, and good communities thrive when the actions of the top content creators are appreciated, curated, and enjoyed by passive lurkers.”

In the community I recently joined, e-Learning in Developing Countries, I see that there are a few super contributors and faithful responders. The majority of 10,255 members, though, seem to be lurkers, like me. Dan Sullivan, in his post, “Lurkers and Superfans: Why You Need Both in Your Facebook Communities describes lurkers as “The Dark Matter That Holds Communities Together.” I have been a fan of the potential of lurkers. Last year, I created a curated board on ScoopIt called “Lurk No Longer.” My ScoopIt curated board seeks to nudge lurkers toward active participation with various web tools.

In contrast, the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club has many superfans and faithful contributors. I am wondering if it is no longer the medium that is the message, but the community that is the message? Is the message only as important as the community that energizes it? No, I think all messages have importance to someone. But these important messages can be lost or fail to multiply in communities that do not foster rich, interchanges and intriguing topics. So, then, is the community only as vibrant as the members that populate it? Possibly. Do online communities need organizers, amplifiers, and faithful participants just as exist in face-to-face communities? Very possibly. Quite possibly actually.

~~~

Sullivan, D. (2013, September 26). [Lurkers And Superfans: Why You Need Both In Your Facebook Communities]. Retrieved from http://allfacebook.com/crowdly-dan-sullivan-superfans-lurkers_b125468

Book Sources:

McLuhan, Marshall (1967). The Medium is the Message.

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

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