A Definition of Community Communities are quite simply, collections of individuals who are bound together by natural will and a set of shared ideas and ideals. “ A system in which people can enter into relations that are determined by problems or shared ambitions rather than by rules or structure.” (Heckscher, 1994, p. 24). The process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations. (Wikipedia)
While there are there many unique approaches and pedagogical frameworks for building and sustaining social networks and communities of practice, certain trends and patterns of best practice do exist.
Much of the learning currently happening on the Internet comes from self-motivated individuals with a common interest and a desire to interact with others who share the same interest (Wenger, 1998). The focus is on interaction… Centralized, bureaucratic,risk averse, multi-leveled, limit access to data, inward focused culture Empowering, non bureaucratic, risk tolerant, fewer levels, distribute data widely, externally oriented. Walled Garden
Designers use participants' ideas and innovations to re-conceptualize and redesign
Developers rethink (unlearn) structured and programmatic uses of community, challenging their own assumptions about the innovation
Community sponsor/mentor the development of new communities around innovation
Community leaders emerge
Community becomes more self-regulating and governing
Community demonstrates benefits from the collective work and collaboration
Community begins to establish patterns of interactivity
Viral impact starts to be evident in membership
Design improvements result in changed processes
Community begins to build shared vision and design
Simple framework of collaborative tools introduced, including profile tools for connecting
Multiple options for feedback on design and tools
Sense of trust and community develops
Focus groups and needs surveys on design and functionality
Role out and announcement
Assist in helping educators find the community
Adaptive Shift Active Engaged Emergent Design Conception and Launch
Social communities of practice need to be designed in such a way that they evolve over time. What develops is co-created and collaborative with multiple opportunities for member feedback and ownership.
The driving engine of the collaborative culture of a PLC is the team. They work together in an ongoing effort to discover best practices and to expand their professional expertise. PLCs are our best hope for reculturing schools. We want to focus on shifting from a culture of teacher isolation to a culture of deep and meaningful collaboration . Professional Learning Communities
Scaling your project http://www.microsoft.com/education/demos/scale/index.html
Two all day workshops that build capacity, community and develop 21 st Century skills. Workshops Live meetings where teams meet, listen and then reflect in small groups. Elluminate Where we deepen understanding, network, share resources and grow as a community of practice. VLC Professional Learning Teams Job embedded teams who meet f2f and work towards scale and alignment of 21 st C skills with school improvement goals Powerful Learning Practice Delivery Model
A solid foundation of collaboratively developed and widely shared vision, mission, values and goals that align with the 21 st Century learner’s needs.
Collaborative teams that work interdependently to achieve common goals
A focus on results as evidenced by a commitment to continuous improvement
PLC- Conceptual Framework
Our basic experimental design is this… • Seek out schools willing to invest some time in exploring the challenge of 21st Century Learning. • Ask the schools to identify small teams of educators who are ready for this exploration. • With the support of the PLP Fellows, begin that exploration together. • … with the eventual goal of "scaling up" the exploration in each participating school.
Knowledge: An understanding of the transformative potential of Web 2.0 tools in a global perspective and context and how those potentials can be realized in schools. Pedagogy: An understanding of the shifting learning literacies that the 21st Century demands and how those literacies inform teacher practice. Connections: The development of sustained professional learning networks for team members to begin experimenting and sharing with other team members and online colleagues from around the world. (Within school, districts, global) Sustainability: The creation of long term plans to move the vision forward in participating districts at the end of the program. Capacity: An increase in the abilities and resources of individuals, teams and the community to manage change.