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 3, Post 2
I like participating in the SciFi and Fantasy book club. I have not made my reading list public and have continued in my identity of “ByTheFire Reading.” In my postings, I try to keep my language gender neutral. My reasoning is that responses from my group may be different if my newbie status is coupled with my female gender. However, as I read over my discussion posts, my choice of flowery words, hyperbole, and oversharing proves I am not fooling anyone!
The participation in the group is robust. Whenever I log-in, I see that there has been recent activity within the hour, whatever hour it is. I think this is because the group has an international membership so it is daylight somewhere. Also, I’ve learned from reading the discussion posts that many of the group members work during the day and read/connect at night.
There is an ardent commitment to shield readers in process of reading a certain book from plot spoilers. Posts are moderated and mild spoilers are redacted. Heavy spoilers are moved to discussion forums for those who have finished a particular book. I receive email communication from the group in a digest form. I chose the weekly digest email and it reflects daily posts and invitations to monthly book clubs and announcements and author chats.
The emphasis on connection and interaction reinforces Wenger’s explanation:
As we define these enterprises and engage in their pursuit together, we interact with each other and with the world and we tune our relations with each other and with the world accordingly. In other words, we learn. Over time, this collective learning results in practices that reflect both the pursuit of our enterprises and the attendant social relations. These practices are thus the property of a kind of community created over time by the sustained pursuit of a shared enterprise. It makes sense, therefore, to call these kinds of communities communities of practice. (p. 45)
…just as it would be in the galaxies far, far away in the Sci-Fi group from whose members I learned so much.
Book Source: Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge University Press
Wenger, Etienne (1998-07-28). Communities of Practice (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) (p. 45). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.