Network or community?

This question keep cropping up for me. Could this course be considered a community? In some ways it must be.

  • We are all gathered around a domain – connectivism,
  • We are all sharing practice  – Are we? Is what we are doing sharing practice? Even for those who are sharing, is it sharing practice?
  •  And we are learning through social interaction. Well some of us obviously are, but equally I suspect there are many who are not.

So could this be called a community? It doesn’t feel like a community to me. Network seems a better word. Is there a difference? Does it matter? If there is a difference, how does that affect the learning process?

2 thoughts on “Network or community?

  1. Sui Fai John Mak September 21, 2008 / 12:39 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    I think we are learning together in the “air” over the globe, via various e-technology and communication, reading articles/post, participating in the forums, posting and responding to blogs, and sharing views on articles/post we have read. participating or listening to the Podcasting, Though not every one is participating in all of these. I believe that every one is achieving their goals in ways that suit their needs.

    And I agree that we are far from a community, at least, I don’t feel that atmosphere as yet.

    Every learning community starts with birth, followed by growth and development and then decline and if it’s lucky enough it will be re-born and could go through another life cycle, and so on.

    At this stage, it is at the birth stage, and I don’t think there are any formal networks formed as yet, except the few enthusiasts who would like to form their own interests groups. Some might have already started their own wiki’s, and I would be interested to know how they are doing??

    Do we have common and shared goals in this course other the “connectivism” learning? I am not too sure!

    Let’s see what happens in the following weeks.

    Cheers.

    John

  2. jennymackness September 21, 2008 / 5:43 pm

    Hi John – Thanks for visiting! You have commented:

    ‘Every learning community starts with birth, followed by growth and development and then decline and if it’s lucky enough it will be re-born and could go through another life cycle, and so on.’

    I agree – but I think that there needs to be an intention to form a community if that is what a course wants to become. I’m not sure that this course ever had the intention of forming a community – a network ‘yes’, a community – I don’t think so.

    And that’s fine, except that for me, I prefer to work in a community than in a network.

    I think that maybe some communities are beginning to form – so for example, I found today, for the first time, that there is a Ning community ( I found it, but now I’ve lost it again!!) – So the course will probably end up as being different groups of communities. I suppose this is inevitable given the numbers enrolled.

    I would like to find a ‘community’ within this network which is interested in how connectivism could be applied to day-to-day teaching. How will it influence the way in which I teach? Should it influence the way in which I teach? What are the implications for learners – and so on.

    As yet I have not found this group.

    Thanks for your comment – which is very much appreciated.

    Jenny

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