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Me, We and Everyone: navigating the spaces between individuals, groups and networks
 

Me, We and Everyone: navigating the spaces between individuals, groups and networks

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Presentation for EdMedia 09 June 23, Honolulu

Presentation for EdMedia 09 June 23, Honolulu

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  • The proliferation of internet based tools has expanded what it means to "be together" with others for learning, work and pleasure. How do we, as learners, educators and designers decide when to focus on the individual, the group or the wider network? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? How does our choice inform our selection of tools and methods? And what about all the gray area "in between" each of these? We'll explore how we might navigate these spaces and play with a few heuristics you can take back with you.
  • Story 1 – Digital Habitats book. It started with Etienne writing a very useful report reviewing software developed for and/or used by communities of practice in 2001. As the technology market proliferated, he needed to do an update, but the complexity suggested he bring in some collaborators. John and I joined in, but in the end, the work reflected not just our work, but the knowledge that flowed to us from our networks. This was a small effort, thus our roles as individuals, as a group of authors and as actors in wider networks emerged organically. Story2 – ICT4Dev in Education. Sunday morning after the rooster that lives outside of the condo we were renting in Punalu'u woke me up at 4:30 am, I was reading twitter and saw a link to a blog post by http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/why-we-need-more-not-fewer-ict4d-pilot-projects-in-education Michael Trucano of the Wold Bank. He wrote about pilot projects and the complexity of moving “to scale” in ICT for Education in Development. Since I work mostly in international development, I thought, hm, this is a great story for our time together today. You see, I don't work directly in education – which most if not all of you do, and frankly, I want to share what I've learned authentically. So why not from my sector? Looking at Michael's blog post, I immediately saw the very point I wanted to raise here. Many of my clients are looking to scale their work, to sustain it What if we explored the issue from a me/we/network perspective instead of simply talking about scale? What role would me/we/network play in scaling educational initiatives in an international development context? So, you might ask, what is this me/we/network thing she is going on about?
  • It starts with “me” - each of us as individual actors and learners in the world. How do we learn? What motivates us? And when are we best served as independent actors?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/27126314@N03/2956992219/ The next stage along the continuum – and I stress that this is a continuum – is the “we” - bounded groups with an explicit shared purpose. As we move from me to we, the purpose may be emergent, fuzzy and we may just be creating the boundaries of the group. But for today, I'll focus mainly on formed, explicit groups.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavog/9708628/ Finally, at the other end of the continuum – which I now think of as a circle, by the way, instead of a linear continuum, is the network. This is the network that we can now visualize and participate in more than any other time in human history because of technology. This is the “new” part of the game when we think about learning, because network participation is no longer constrained as it was by time and distance for many of us. (Not for all of us... we'll come back to that)
  • So let's do a little comparing and contrasting of this circular continuum. You can be clear when we talk about the individual, me. We can be clear when we have bounded communities with clear establishment of in/out membership. We can also have communities with fuzzy boundaries, which may even be networks. If there was a subliminal sign flashing across this slide, it would be saying “IDENTITY.” identity shows up differently across this continuumand identity can be linked to purpose and boundaries. http://www.zengestrom.com/blog/2005/04/why_some_social.html (Social-material networks)
  • You can be clear when we talk about the individual, me. We can be clear when we have bounded communities with clear establishment of in/out membership. We can also have communities with fuzzy boundaries, which may even be networks. These different boundaries influence the power dynamics that occur between people. It influences processes of leadership and other roles. It defines levels of trust and privacy – which are not always closely linked as we move to the network level. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate.html
  • Clay Shirky on CNN with Fareed Zakaria .. Iran and social media impacts, seems like an intelligent discussion Shirky .. "Is there interconnectivity and can you send something" .. it's the ecosystem's pull here … Shirky .. "as much the redistribution of content as the distribution of cell phones" jonhusband "a dynamic 2-way flow of power & authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility & results, enabled by interconnected people & technology
  • Finally, the tools we use can vary across the continuum. We'll talk a bit more about this later.
  • From a teaching/learning perspective? From a technology perspective? From a process and/or facilitation perspective?
  • Bias for practice and action beyond reflection and analysis Networked world Employment patterns (connecting students' learning with the network within which they will apply that learning) Economic situation
  • The idea of polarities that show up in group interactions. Tensions that we can learn to creatively leverage, rather than trying to resolve. Because resolution is usually impossible! Nor is it desirable. It is about noticing where a community is and what it needs at that moment along a polarity, and using tools and processes to move them to that desired point at that moment in time. Sliders – as we think about how we pick, design and deploy technology, what sort of intentionality do we want with respect to these tensions? More importantly, how do we use them as ways to track our community or network's health, make adjustments in both technology and practice. For example, the elements of time and space present a challenge for communities. Forming a community requires more than one transient conversation or having the same job title in completely different settings. The kind of learning that communities of practice strive for requires a sustained process of mutual engagement, and if mutual engagement is the key to learning, separation in time and space can make community difficult. How can a community sustain an experience of togetherness across the boundaries of time and space? How can members experience togetherness through shared activities if they cannot be together face-to-face? How can the togetherness of a few members (a small meeting, a conversation) become an experience the whole community shares? Members of a community of practice need to interact with each other as well as produce and share artifacts such as documents, tools, and links to resources. Sharing artifacts without interacting can inhibit the ability to negotiate the meaning of what is being shared. Interacting without producing artifacts can limit the extent and impact of learning. Indeed, the theory of communities of practice views learning together as involving the interplay of two fundamental processes of meaning making: Members engage directly in activities, interactions, conversations, reflections, and other forms of personal participation in the learning of the community; members produce physical and conceptual artifacts—words, tools, concepts, methods, stories, documents, and other forms of reification —that reflect their shared experience and around which they organize their participation. (Literally, reification means “making into an object.”) Meaningful learning in a community requires both processes to be present. Sometimes one may dominate the other. They may not always be complementary to each other. The challenge of this polarity is how successfully communities cycle between the two. Technology provides so many new ways to interact and publish while supporting the interplay of participation and reification that it can profoundly change the experience of learning together. Technology enables new kinds of interactions, activities, and access to other people. It also provides new ways to produce, share, and organize the results of being together – through documents, media files, and other artifacts. Most important, it affords new ways to combine participation and reification. For instance, by providing a web-based whiteboard for a conversation, we are supporting new forms of co-authorship where we casually mix words, images and sounds with each other . Technology also pushes the boundaries of both interacting and publishing for a community. It makes it easier for the work of a community to be opened up to the larger world. It can allow a community to decide whether to publish artifacts and invite comments publicly or to hold them within the private boundaries of the community. One role of technology is to help manage the complexities of community life and individual participation. Technology can make the community visible in new ways through directories, maps of member locations, participation statistics, and graphic representations of the health of the community. It can provide tools for individuals to filter information to fit their needs, to locate others, to find connections, to know when and where important activities are taking place, and to gather the news feeds from their various communities in one place. In fact, multi-membership is becoming so prevalent that tools to manage the group/individual polarity are becoming an increasingly central contribution of technology.
  • Technology creates “community time” that defies schedules and time zones, and “communal spaces” that do not depend on physical location. One obvious appeal of technology is its variety of solutions for dealing with time and space to achieve continuity and togetherness: to hold a meeting at a distance, to converse across time zones, to make a recording of a teleconference available, to include people who cannot be physically present, to send a request or a file, or to be up-to-date on an interesting project. In a community version of “time shifting” and even “space shifting,” togetherness happens in a variety of formats that enable participation “anytime, anywhere.” Practice issues: Community profiles as patterns of togetherness. How do we learn best. Respect the time of each member. Front or back channel, what problems to bring to the whole group. Networks demand less profiles of togetherness and instead need visibility of nodes for discovery. Social network mapping can be a tool to help nuture nodes. The practice of network weaving can build new social connections. Individual control of the connecting tools or software can give an individual some level of control at their solo level.
  • Individuals want control over their interaction and perhaps ownership over their publication. Members of a community of practice need to interact with each other as well as produce and share artifacts such as documents, tools, and links to resources. Sharing artifacts without interacting can inhibit the ability to negotiate the meaning of what is being shared. Interacting without producing artifacts can limit the extent and impact of learning. Indeed, the theory of communities of practice views learning together as involving the interplay of two fundamental processes of meaning making: Members engage directly in activities, interactions, conversations, reflections, and other forms of personal participation in the learning of the community; members produce physical and conceptual artifacts—words, tools, concepts, methods, stories, documents, and other forms of reification —that reflect their shared experience and around which they organize their participation. (Literally, reification means “making into an object.”) Meaningful learning in a community requires both processes to be present. Sometimes one may dominate the other. They may not always be complementary to each other. The challenge of this polarity is how successfully communities cycle between the two. Networks provide individuals and communities a place to share out what they produce, access the products of others and in that process, remix, mashup and create newly both individually and collectively, but often outside the boundaries of communities, on edges where innovation can flourish while it might be stifled in a community.  
  • Technology provides so many new ways to interact and publish while supporting the interplay of participation and reification that it can profoundly change the experience of learning together. Technology enables new kinds of interactions, activities, and access to other people. It also provides new ways to produce, share, and organize the results of being together – through documents, media files, and other artifacts. Most important, it affords new ways to combine participation and reification. For instance, by providing a web-based whiteboard for a conversation, we are supporting new forms of co-authorship where we casually mix words, images and sounds with each other . Technology also pushes the boundaries of both interacting and publishing for a community. It makes it easier for the work of a community to be opened up to the larger world. It can allow a community to decide whether to publish artifacts and invite comments publicly or to hold them within the private boundaries of the community.
  • In our research of CoPs we noticed 9 general patterns of activities that characterized a community’s orientation. Most had a mix, but some were more prominent in every case. Image: Wenger, White and Smith, 2007
  • KM4Dev (http://www.km4dev.org) is a global network of practitioners interested in knowledge management and knowledge sharing in international development. Over 800 members are subscribed to the email list which had it’s origins in July 2000. It is both a well established but loosely bounded network that interacts primarily online, with once a year meetings that a small subset attend.
  • Consider how each of these orientations might have a “me, we, network” implication
  • One role of technology is to help manage the complexities of community life and individual participation. Technology can make the community visible in new ways through directories, maps of member locations, participation statistics, and graphic representations of the health of the community. It can provide tools for individuals to filter information to fit their needs, to locate others, to find connections, to know when and where important activities are taking place, and to gather the news feeds from their various communities in one place. In fact, multi-membership is becoming so prevalent that tools to manage the group/individual polarity are becoming an increasingly central contribution of technology.
  • Process/Facilitation (including evaluation)
  • Three roles that I’ve been looking at are community leaders, network weavers and technology stewards. Community leaders are a more familiar role, helping defined groups achieve specific goals over a period of time. “Helping” may mean creating conditions, supporting the emergence of relationships or individual and/or group identity, managing, etc. Network weavers are a new role (See the work of June Holley et al at http://www.networkweaving.com/blog/) – “people who facilitate new connections and increase the quality of those connections.” In between community leaders and network weavers are technology stewards – they show up both in groups/communities AND networks.

Me, We and Everyone: navigating the spaces between individuals, groups and networks Me, We and Everyone: navigating the spaces between individuals, groups and networks Presentation Transcript

  • EdMedia Me, We and Everyone: navigating the spaces between individuals, groups and networks Nancy White Full Circle Associates http://www.fullcirc.com
  • h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/yersinia/2439823650/ discuss poll discuss Story Implications Practices
  • Once upon a time…
    • Writing a book
    • Developing a social media workshop
    • Building social media capacity
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sveinhal/2201546999/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/2918198742/in/set-72157603453505459/ Go Solo?
  • Fly with the flock?
  • Roam the network?
  • Tech + Social: Technology has fundamentally changed how we can be together
  • Many: Networks We: Communities Me: the Individual Personal identity, interest & trajectory Bounded membership; group identity, shared interest, human centered Boundaryless; fuzzy, intersecting interests, object centered sociality (Engeström)
  • Many: Networks We: Communities Me: the Individual Self, identity, consciousness, confidence level, risk tolerance, styles, emotion Distinct power/trust dynamics, shared forward movement or strong blocking, stasis, attention to maintenance, language Flows around blocks, less cohesion, distributed power/trust, change
  •  
  • By the way, thanks to THE NETWORK!
    • @Cosmocat
    • @band
    • @BlancheMaynard
    • @gshirley
    • @jonhusband
    • @trucano
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmilles/2772265449/
  • Many: Networks We: Communities Me: the Individual Individual access, personal learning environments … Classes, informal learning cohorts, conferences, clubs… Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia,etc…
  • Poll: Where are you currently aiming your efforts?
  • Part 2: Why does this matter?
    • Assess and discern
    • Design across the continuum
    • Shift across the continuum
    implications
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/senseiste/505590139/ becoming conscious
  • Purpose: why might we care about this? ACTION! Employ- men t Econ- omics
  • What is one area in your work were more attention to the continuum of “me, we and the network” might support your purpose?
  • So what do we DO? http://www.flickr.com/photos/01steven/2131672995/
  • Togetherness Separateness Interacting Publishing Individual Group Network
  • TOGETHERNESS SEPARATENESS me/we/network time & space
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldcafe/227358678 / INTERACTING PUBLISHING
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldcafe/227358678 / INTERACTING PUBLISHING
  • How do we design it?
  • … meetings … relationships … community cultivation … access to expertise … projects … context … individual participation … content publishing … open-ended conversation Community activities oriented to … Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities © 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith
  • activities oriented to … Community Name: KM4Dev global knowledge sharing network … open-ended conversation … meetings … projects … access to expertise … relationships … context … community cultivation … individual participation … content publishing Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities © 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith With only one meeting a year, large size and diversity, KM4Dev focuses on enabling individual participation. Community knowledge wiki, content management system to bring together resources. Email list is core of community activity Once a year and only about 10% do/can participate. When funding allows. E.G. supporting ShareFair Informally via the email list by asking/answering questions. Relationships mostly via meetings and core group. Strongly external – all resources public/shared. While everyone pays attention to the community, no centralized efforts…
  • … meetings … relationships … community cultivation … access to expertise … projects … context … individual participation … content publishing … open-ended conversation activities oriented to … Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities © 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith Network Group Individual
  • Designed for groups, experienced as individuals Does not imply homogeneity Multimembership Attention Scale
  • What processes might we be using? What roles?
  • How do we enable people to…
    • discover & appropriate useful technology
    • be in and use communities & networks (people)
    • express their identity
    • find and create content
    • usefully participate
    ? ? ?
  • community leaders technology stewards network weavers Independent thinkers
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/eriwst/2303608353/ What practices can you build on? What new practices might you introduce?
  • Epilogue Resources: onlinefacilitation.wikispaces.com me_we_network www.technologyforcommunities.com Contact Nancy White nancyw at fullcirc dot com http:www.fullcirc.com @NancyWhite http://www.flickr.com/photos/poagao/527259905/