Here I am in sunny Mooloolaba, at my 4th Learning Technologies Conference. A ‘must attend’ for any learning practitioner interested in understanding the education value of learning technologies.
I attended the pre-conference workshop facilitated by Nancy White. Not only an engaging and validating facilitator, Nancy was generous in sharing her insights into online community stewardship. Some of the pearls of wisdom I gleaned include:
- Uncovering the differences between communities and networks (I have a lot more notes on this, if people are interested)
- Building the technology to meet the community needs
- The power of visuals in opening up a conversation around interpretation
- That technology has changed and is changing the way people ‘are’ together. Technology is reshaping how people interact
- Networks play an important role in filtering content for us
- That measurement of participation should not include only what is ‘overt’. Lurkers learn aswell. And we cannot estimate the learning and participation that is occurring when someone from a community translates their learning or experience to people outside of the community (an important point when quantifying what is a successful community)
- IT departments often don’t help us in the contextual manner that our communities and networks need
Nancy, along with co-authors Wenger & Smith, have recently published a new book Digital Habitats which I eagerly purchased. Although I haven’t read it in full as yet, the book appears practical and easy to read and navigate. A useful book for the practitioner wanting to understand what online communities need to thrive.