Communities Of Practice (Co P)1 Seminar

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  • What it is… Demo with stickies: Bloggers - student services blog Perifieral role – reads Active role – comments Central Role – joins, helps create, shares… Have common language (captchas, analytics…) Have common passion – information technology, writing Have common goals – to provide unique student services information through blogging
  • Information was once not so easily assessable. It took time for new ideas to get from someone’s head to the rest of the world. There had to be some exploration on the idea, peer review, validation, publication, distribution. It could take years to get new information to the public. Nowadays, we often use the disclaimer that as soon as something is published to paper is it outdated. We need to adopt it because knowledge as we know it is changing. New communication tools and technologies are changing the way the public gets information… Michael Jackson Who has the time to wait?? We are in a time when people expect quality information immediately. We could have a race…Lornie armed with a blackberry and Sue in the library. Assuming Sue used no technological aids, who could answer this question the fastest. What is John Travolta’s middle name?
  • utility at Holland College: Programs: Distance/online education – ACP DL, CIS Distance Apprenticeship – learn by being a member of the community – “learning to be, not learning about” Hands on learning – ex. Journalism, photography = classroom is run like a news room, photo studio Graphic media – programs work together to create exhibits & projects Administration: Several people from several departments often work on the same thing, unknown to each other, potential to “team up” and collaborate Flow of information/communication between departments
  • Post graduate level – often work in isolation – need to use community of practice. Distance learning uses social networking to keep in touch. Interesting to see if our cohort participates in this


  • 1. Communities of Practice (CoP) “ No man is an island…” (Donne, 1967)
  • 2. Jean Lave “ learning is ubiquitous in ongoing activity, though often unrecognized as such” (Lave, 1993).
  • 3. Etienne Wenger “ The basic idea is that human knowing is fundamentally a social act. This simple observation has profound implications for the way we think of and attempt to support learning” ( ).
  • 4.  
  • 5.
  • 6. What are CoPs?
    • 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.
      • 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.
            • (Wenger, n.d)
  • 7.
  • 8. Why do we need to adopt CoPs?
  • 9. Usefulness at Holland College Within Departments Within Administration Throughout the World Distributed Learning and Online Education Flow of information between Administrative Departments Research ideas Apprenticeship Model Product development Hands on learning, industry based training Collaborative college wide projects Training needs Collaborative projects, events & community involvement Pool of resources
  • 10. College Considerations Benefits Warnings Numerous experts within Holland college organization Release of authority may be unsettling for some Supportive climate Unreal expectations Encourages imagination and innovation Fear of change or failure Ready access to resources Time constraints Belief in lifelong learning Loss of interest in project Shared values and common goals
  • 11. Implications on US We are here We will get here
  • 12. References
    • Cormier, D. (2008, June 3). Rhizomatic education: Community as curriculum. Dave’s educational blog. Retrieved July 29, 2009 from
    • Lave, J. (1993). The practice of learning. In S. Chaiklin & J. Lave (eds.), Understanding practice: perspectives on activity and context (pp. 3-32). New York: Cambridge University Press.
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (n.d.). D. Development Model. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from
    • Seaman, M. (2008, September). Birds of a feather? Communities of practice and knowledge communities. Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue , 10 (1/2), 269-279. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.
    • Smith, M.K. (2003,2009) Communities of practice. The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved July29, 2009 from
    • Wenger, E. (n.d.). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved July 30,
    • 2009, from