Creating Community as a Resource

Last night in our GRAD-602 class, we explored the question of how important is it to our “teaching” that we understand something about how people “learn”.  Jeff Nugent led this class and had students at their tables first develop their beliefs about learning, and then mapped them on our wall:

whiteboard20Feb

As Enoch Hale, Jeff and I debriefed the class this morning, we realized that our podcast today might be an opportunity to make explicit some of the underlying aspects of GRAD-602.  Our design hopes to help perspective faculty first develop a self identity as a teacher, surface their beliefs and begin to critically question them, and equally important, recognize that our use of discourse is beginning to build a practice of seeing each other as a resource within a community of practice.

Our students are, I think, typical of new faculty – they want McKeachie’s Teaching Tips or the one page handout of best practices.  What they have not yet begun to see is that teaching is a lifelong journey, and our fellow colleagues are some of our best resources.  Our practice of weekly debriefs of our class gives us an opportunity to think metacognitively about our teaching, which translates into concrete actions to take in future classes.

So … an interesting discussion this morning.  Give a listen, and use the comment feature to add to the conversation!

.

Communities and Tools

A week from tomorrow, I am scheduled to lead a Brown Bag lunch session on “Building Community and Connections Through the Web.”

Bud Deihl and I were brainstorming this session (and he earlier also blogged about it).  As we talked, we realized that “community” is very nuanced.  The following slide emerged from our white board doodling:

So that got me wondering.  I belong to many communities.  Some of those communities overlap and others do not.  I use different tools with different communities.  In discussing the tools and their use to build connections, I thought I would tap into my blogging community to see how you would list tools matrixed with communities?  Does one tool suffice?  Do conversations in one tool spill over into other tools?  Are certain tools optimized for certain communities?

Some obvious tools that could be discussed as part of building community and connections include:

  • Twitter
  • Yammer
  • Blogs
  • Delicious / Diigo
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Apps (Reader / Docs / Sites)
  • Ning
  • Wikis
  • Netvibes
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Slideshare
  • Jott

What am I overlooking?  Be interested in your thoughts.

Photo Credit: Dietmar Offenhuber, Judith Donath, MIT Sociable Media Group