LLT as a community of practice

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LLT - Lifelong Learning Teachers Workshop presentation, Laura Maffei - eTwinning Conference 2010, Seville

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LLT as a community of practice

  1. 2. Introducing a teachers’ only eTwinning Project <ul><li>The birth of the project: answering a need </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers looking for an innovative pathway to professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Not a tutorial, but an experts’ meeting point </li></ul><ul><li>The core words: working TOGETHER </li></ul><ul><li>Theory behind the project: Learning is a social act </li></ul>E. Wenger Sugata Mitra
  2. 3. LLT as a community of practice (E. Wenger) <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest . </li></ul><ul><li>Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain, and a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people. (You could belong to the same network as someone and never know it.) </li></ul><ul><li>In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information . They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other . (Wenger circa 2007) </li></ul>
  3. 4. Members of an active community We are generally involved in a number of communities of practice. Of course, in some groups we are core members, in others we are more at the margins
  4. 5. Working in LLT: our steps <ul><li>Getting to know each other </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping a free and open environment </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering discussion and exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing the topics of debate </li></ul><ul><li>Putting into practice in our classes some of the activities suggested or built together through debate </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring the results </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing achievments, problems, practical ideas to avoid dead-ends </li></ul><ul><li>Building up a corpus of “good practices” that help us to perform better in our job </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause pupils’ learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge is not the result of transmission but of cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>the quality of education reduces with remoteness , in geographic, social, and cultural terms </li></ul><ul><li>MAKE IT AS FREE AS YOU CAN! </li></ul>Peers instructing themselves via the ICT Prof. Sugata Mitra –minimally invasive education
  6. 7. <ul><li>approach activities, learning pathways and pedagogical strategies from the widest possible perspective (all school levels involved) </li></ul><ul><li>involve tiny schools and decreasing schools, addressing their different reality </li></ul><ul><li>involve cut-off, isolated schools giving them the opportunity to enter the European community of learning </li></ul><ul><li>involve special schools, encouraging the debate about special needs students in order to overcome disadvantaged situations </li></ul><ul><li>use of ICT as a medium for auto–training among teachers of all European Countries </li></ul><ul><li>compare different national solutions to shared issues (students with special needs, gifted students, pupils with disruptive behavior, lack of ICT equipment, etc…) </li></ul>LLT: strategies against geographic, social and cultural remoteness
  7. 8. User Participation: Encouraging More Users to Contribute <ul><li>In all multi-user communities and online social networks (including LLT) user participation more or less follows a 90-9-1 rule : </li></ul><ul><li>90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don't contribute) </li></ul><ul><li>9% of users contribute from time to time </li></ul><ul><li>1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions </li></ul>Source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html
  8. 9. Overcoming participation inequality <ul><li>The problem is that the overall picture is not representative of the members if you always hear from the same 1% of users, who almost certainly differ from the 90% you never hear from. </li></ul><ul><li>To overcome this impasse we: </li></ul><ul><li>try to make it easy to contribute (use of ICT tools welcome but not mandatory) </li></ul><ul><li>offer different opportunities – and different places – for contribution (TwinSpace, blog, social networks’ communities) </li></ul><ul><li>use questionnaires and surveys that could explore the point of view of all members </li></ul><ul><li>choose topics of debate related to general issues of the “being a teacher” everyday life </li></ul><ul><li>pay attention to the forum, trying to meet the needs of everybody. </li></ul>
  9. 10. life of a community over time LLT: where are we going?
  10. 11. … willing to join us ? Laura Maffei Monika Kiss http://my.twinspace.etwinning.net/lifelonglearningteachers?l=en

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