Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Weekend Ed. Quote ~ October 3

“Through engagement, but also imagination and alignment, our identities come to reflect the landscape in which we live and our experience of it. Identity becomes a system, as it were.” (Wenger, 2010: 185)

WengerQuotePhotoDesignBy Helen Teague

 

 

 

~~~

More Ed. Quotes 

Quote Source: Wenger E (2010) Communities of practice and social learning systems: The career of a concept. In: Blackmore C (ed.) Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice. Milton Keynes: The Open University, pp. 179–198.

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Learning Something New Video

This is my LSN video on Juicing in partial requirements for EDLT 770b course at Pepperdine University. No fruits or vegetables were hurt in the making of this video.

Semiotic Vocabulary
Centrifugal Juicers: Centrifugal juicers are the most common type of juicer that you will find in department stores. They are often upright and cylindrical in shape. They extract juice from fruits and vegetables by grating them into tiny pieces, then using a sieve to “spin” the juice out of the pulp at high speeds (in a similar manner in which a salad spinner extracts the water from washed greens).
Masticating Juicers: Masticating (aka “single gear”) juicers use a screw-type auger to grind, crush and “chew” fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. It distributes the juice and extracts the pulp into separate containers.
Triturating Juicers: Triturating (or twin gear) juicers are high-end juicers and are considered to be the best ones on the market. They work similarly to a masticating juicer but the motor runs slower, which preserves maximum nutrients and promotes efficient juicing. They also have two, interlocking “screws” that grind, crush and “chew” produce in order to extract the juice.
Wheatgrass Juicers: If you want to juice wheatgrass, then you should get a dedicated wheatgrass juicer. Centrifugal juicers are not appropriate for extracting the juice from grasses, and masticating juicers are not the best option either. Wheatgrass juicers are specifically designed to do this job.
Citrus Juicers: Citrus juicers are specialized to extract juice from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Obviously, they are not suitable for making green juices. Citrus fruits can be juiced in centrifugal, masticating and triturating juicers so it is not necessary to get a separate citrus juice extractor if you are getting one of these other units.

Sources:

Canole, D. (2011) Guide to Juicing Greens. Retrieved from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5595/Guide-to-Juicing-Greens-Infographic.html

Foley, M. (2012). Beyond the Glass: Ways to Use Leftover Juice Pulp http://www.fitsugar.com/What-Do-Leftover-Juice-Pulp-21518042

Garland, D. K. (2002). Learning style characteristics of the online student: A study of learning styles, learner engagement and gender. Ann Arbor, University of Missouri – Columbia. 3074403: 121-121 p.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Duncan, R. G., & Chinn, C. A. (2007). Scaffolding and achievement in problem-based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006). Educational Psychologist, 42(2), 99-107.

Juicing in the Kitchen: http://www.squidoo.com/juicing-in-the-kitchen

Kolb, A. and Kolb, D. A. K. (2010). “Learning to play, playing to learn: A case study of a ludic learning space.” Journal of Organizational Change Management 23(1): 26-50.

Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.

LA Healthy Living Blog: http://www.lahealthyliving.com/1/post/2014/06/golden-turmeric-smoothie-pain-inflammation.html

My Whole Juice: http://mywholefoodlife.com/

Nutribullet Blog: http://nutribulletblog.com/

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes.  (M.Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner & E. Souberman, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice : learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, U.K.; New York, N.Y., Cambridge University Press

Zull, J. (2002). The Art of the Changing Brain. Stylus Publishing. Retrieved from: http://jimmytorresecuador.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/64302662/The%20Art%20of%20Changing%20the%20Brain.pdf

Music by Chris Zabriskie – http://freemusicarchive.org/music/chris_zabriskie/

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Additional Connectors for CoP

CCquestion

Video night!

Shortcut link for this post: http://4oops.edublogs.org/?p=3145
Very Basic Overview and Review of Situated Learning

Addressing Identity and Knowing in Landscapes of Learning

Distinguishing Networks from Situated Learning in Communities of Practice

Peer-reviewed articles addressing the classroom as a setting for a CoP

Classroom CoP1

Classroom CoP2

Classroom CoP3

and Jean Lave discussing her research portfolio (begin at 5:00 minutes in)

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Communities of Practice: Key Words

Communities of Practice:

Key words: created over time by the sustained pursuit of a shared enterprise
Wenger, 1998

 

Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope. In a nutshell: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. (Wenger circa 2007)

 

 

Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991: 108-9) comment, ‘the purpose is not to learn from talk as a substitute for legitimate peripheral participation; it is to learn to talk as a key to legitimate peripheral participation’. This orientation has the definite advantage of drawing attention to the need to understand knowledge and learning in context. However, situated learning depends on:

  • connecting concepts to other areas of influence and importance
  • create something new from the internal locus of the CoP

References:

Smith, M. K. (2003, 2009) ‘Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger and communities of practice’, the encyclopedia of informal education, http://infed.org/mobi/jean-lave-etienne-wenger-and-communities-of-practice/

Wenger, Etienne (1998) ‘Communities of Practice. Learning as a social system’, Systems Thinker, http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/cop/lss.shtml.

Wenger, Etienne (c 2007) ‘Communities of practice. A brief introduction’. Communities of practice [http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

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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

 

See all posts

 

 

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Participating in an Online Community~Week 6 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.

Week 6, Post 1

I have gravitated back to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy book group on Goodreads and away from the other group I joined. There was not enough engagement at the second group. Posts were mostly invitations to upcoming events. I like the robust dialogue in my Goodreads group. Perhaps I am experiencing the sense of communication described by José van Dijck in The culture of connectivity : a critical history of social media:

José van Dijck

Sherry Turkle writes that “virtual places offer connection with uncertain claims to commitment” (page 153). I disagree. In my online group, I find a constancy of commitment, exploration, discussion, and communication. On average, the group generates over 400 posts per week. One post invites us to collectively read the book of the month collectively selected for December.

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.

The Long Earth plots involves multiple Earths– parallel worlds– which people traverse by a simple piece of hardware that can be manufactured from Radio Shack parts and a potato. It reminds me a little bit of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The main character, Joshua, realizes he does not need the interplanetary device to travel between the multiple planes. Joshua and a Tibetan motorcycle repairman now reincarnated as a super-computer periodically staying in a coke machine set off on a journey to exploration the parallel worlds.

From other reviews, Schrödinger’s cat, quantum physics and universal branching theory are intertwined with the British humor of Terry Pratchett and the scientific mind of Stephen Baxter.

I’ve been warned about the ending when one group member wrote, “A story without an ending is an elaborate typing exercise.” I decide to read ahead a bit and start the book a bit early.

But the writing is elegantly hypnotic:

“All of the Long Earth, Earths, untold Earths. More Earths than could be counted, some said. And all you had to do was walk sideways into them, one after the next, an unending chain.” The Long Earth, page 3.

The description of walking sideways, traversing multiple communities, multiple assignments and multiple expectations surely describes my experience during this first semester of doctoral work. Maybe that is why I am drawn to this story.

Sources:

Dijck, José van (2013). The Culture of Connectivity : A Critical History of Social Media. Oxford University Press. Link

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

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

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Participating in an online community~Week 5 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.
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Week 5, Post 2

The 4 C’s of Community Combinability

The principle of combinabilty and shared knowledge enhance online communities, especially the community to which I belong, The Science Fiction and Fantasy group on Goodreads. The word combinability is so novel that it still sparks the SpellCheck red underline. But it is also featured in Clay Shirkey’s Cognitive Surplus and his description of Dominique Foray’s research.

Foray's Combinability

Our book community meets entirely online. We have a clarity of shared purpose, hobby, and goal to read science fiction and fantasy books. This is an essential component of our culture. The cost is free, predicated only by the cost of the books we purchased for our Kindles or bookshelves. The facility of communication and convergence of the Science Fiction and Fantasy group is aided by the catalyst effect of the increased comfort to which people in online communities have grown accustomed. Our culture has been altered, whether positively or negatively depends on each individual’s experience.

Clay Shirkey writes in his book Cognitive Surplus that the first social networking website was not Facebook or Friendster but a site called Six Degrees. According to Shirkey, Six Degrees “failed because in 1996 not enough people were comfortable living their social lives online” (193). At the same time, the emotional distance fostered by Facebook and other sites can encourage a healthier candor, too. Seventeen years later, not only do we feel comfortable sharing online, many of us feeling comfortable oversharing!

Nicholas Carr warns of the “Web’s info-thickets” of information that requires us to scan and skim and skip lightly across miles of hyperlinks. Across those thickets, not all is inclusive and accommodating to Foray’s combinability theory.

Teacher, Andrew Simmons writes about the changes he has seen in his students’ writing, “It’s a really bad neighborhood. On Facebook and Twitter, students humiliate, jeer, and shame one another. They engage in antisocial, even criminal behavior—leaving belligerently racist comments on links, harassing classmates with derogatory posts.”

Things are far more civil in my online book community, but within our online culture, there are cultural differences corresponding to our different countries. Several folks in my online communities are taciturn in their responses which they attribute to their disinclination to share everything. Some of us are over-eager to traverse participation circles as described by Etienne Wenger and share with a fluency of what I’ve labeled the 3 R’s of Combinability: responses, recommendations, reports. Protected by my identity and closed profile, I enjoy a bookish version of anonymity.

  • Johan* notes that his posts are abbreviated because he has a limited amount of time online because he is late to the library where he must connect.
  • Trianna* writes that she does not have access to Kindle books since they have not been translated into her native language.
  • John* explains that he was especially sensitive to spoilers during the Harry Potter book roll-out because the sequels came out later than in the Potter’s U.K.’s home country.

Whether it is Wenger’s invitation to Communities of Practice, Foray’s Combinability Theory, or Shirkey’s fulcrum toward our cognitive convergence, the Internet is the catalyst that Carr describes:

“For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind.”

~~~

*=name aliases

Article Sources:

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/

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/

Book Sources:

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

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

I created the Foray mindmap at Bubbl.us

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Participating in an Online Community, Week 5, 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 5, Post 1

A great quote I’ve ever heard about writing science fiction is, “A good science fiction writer invents the car. A great science fiction writer comes up with the traffic jam.” A few months ago, I did not know about much about science fiction writers and their books. Now, thanks to the welcome and inclusion offered by the Science Fiction and Fantasy group at Goodreads, I have ridden in great space ships, conveyor belts, seen eerie sights and laughed out loud while reading Vogon poetry.

I like the car and even the traffic jam! I’ve continued to spend time in my Goodreads group. I have finished three books and learned a lot about theme, plot, arc, conflict, and innovation. I caught myself offering a consulting client a far-fetched idea as we brainstormed possible solutions for a shipping problem that would cause even Zaphod Beeblebrox to smile (or, more accurately, to take the credit).

My adopted group responds quickly and energetically. After a week away at face-to-face classes, one email I see informs me: “You have 419 new posts from 43 discussions on Goodreads”   Discussion Topics are very pertinent and rich with titles such as  Fantasy based on nonwestern myths?The Consciousness PlagueMalthusian settings?Give Us Your Themes!What are Your Favorite Anthologies and Short Story Collections” 

Last week there was an interesting discussion in our group about our preference for paper vs. ebooks. Over 70 responders expressed their opinion with a mixture of enthusiasm and respect for the preferences of others. I am noticing that my identity is not as timid and confining as it/I once was. Is “Goodreads ByTheFire” is more confident and expressive than me? Is it easier for me as “Goodreads ByTheFire” to respond to questions? Is it easier to communicate when we are operating behind other identities?
In a discussion of specific features of science fiction, “C”* wrote: “I agree that too much emphasis can be put on the societal commentary aspect of sci-fi, but it is a feature of many classics.” “D”* asserted, “It’s quite a narrow way of looking at a genre and seems to devalue novels that are examples of good storytelling that just happen to be in a sci fi setting.” Another contributor, “E”* adds, “The technology angle also forgets that some of the biggies in the genre are not ‘about’ the technology, but about the tendencies already present in human nature and society as a whole; technology is just an enabler.”
Not your average Jerry Springer smack down! The ease of interplay and virtual dialogue illustrated Clay Shirkey’s claim that in the Publish then Edit neighborhood, the emphasis aims to “Convene but not control.”
heisnotavegan
he is not a vegan2
I thought about joining many groups before I settled on the Science Fiction and Fantasy group. I lurked in a cooking group and saw the preceding messages. There seems to be a self-regulating system to the internet in general and online communities specifically. Members enforce the official and unofficial rules of their particular system. Admonitions to stick to the subject of the “OP” (original post), to move off-topic posts to appropriate forums, and to avoid spoilers serve as an informal blending of civility and order.
“Don’t try to outweird me, three-eyes.  I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.” ~Zaphod Beeblebrox in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

~~~

Adams, D. (1995). The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Del Rey. 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

*=not the actual initials

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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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Participating in an Online Community~Week 4 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.

Week 4, Post 1

e-Learning in Developing Countries is an open group on Facebook. It has over 8,700 members, from the US and international. After a quick scan of the first page of the membership list, I am pleasantly surprised to see the faces of  3 members of my EDLT cadre and 3 of my friends on Facebook. In addition, 3 of my LinkedIn connections are also members of the group. One author, Marc Pretsky,  whom I quoted in a recent paper and an upcoming post on this blog is also a member of this group.  One of my Professors is also a member of this group. I did not know any of this before I joined the group.

Here is the posted description of the group:

The challenges facing e-learning in developing countries are ongoing and require everyone’s attention. Global learning and cultural exchange via e-learning can unite and contribute to co-existence and world peace. Therefore, we have created a group on Facebook to collaborate and hopefully bridge the digital gap so that all learners can benefit from e-learning. Please join the group so we can collectively search for ways to promote, develop, and encourage others to see the value of connecting the world via e-learning.
What are some of the challenges developing countries face in implementing e-learning programs? How can we work together to overcome barriers? What are some of the success stories? Join us to better understand the realities and to propose solutions.

I joined this group because I wanted to take literally the portion of the assignment that advised, “Extend your identity in the direction of your career path.” I reasoned that my career path will eventually embrace e-learning in developing countries. Because this group is located on Facebook, I must join as my authentic identity. (I supposed I could go to the elaborate measures of setting up a new identity/page on Facebook, but this seems a bit disingenuous.  As I settle in to this community, I’m reminded of Wenger’s overview of the groups to which we belong:

“Yet, if we care to consider our own life…we can all construct a fairly good picture of 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 (1998)Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity (page 6).

There are contrasts between the participatory culture of the Sci-Fi group and the e-Learning in Developing Countries group. In the e-Learning in Developing Countries group posting is more spartan as are frequency of response and conversation. As I scan the posts,  it appears that four or five members are consistently engaged and posting.  Jenkins (2008) explains, “On all sides and at every level, the term participation has emerged as a governing concept, albeit one surrounded by conflicting expectations” (p.175). The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club is a perfect “first-boyfriend” in my social foray into online groups: it is inviting, attentive, participatory, and fun. I am not sure about the transferability of experience to other groups. I have the “conflicting expectations” which Jenkins’ describes. Is it possible that different online groups can serve different needs?

Without the directive of this assignment, I do not think I would have sought to find this group on increasing learning opportunities in developing countries. I would have been content to wait for the latest dateline from Seymour Papert’s work or an Edutopia post. But, because of the impetus of this assignment, I am beginning to explore new ideas from innovators in eLearning. While I am remaining in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club, I have also expanded my participation to the e-Learning in Developing Countries group.

~~~

Book Sources:

Jenkins, Henry (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press.

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

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