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We've put together the educational tech coordinators from different sectors of education and society who are interested in discussing best practices for use of tech in education. The group has evolved and taken many shapes over the past 14 years. Some of the challenges we faced were: How do we get people to discuss between meetings? How do we document all of this, share it, and pass it on? How can we see the history of everything we've produced? This group brings diversity and having this representation from a global view, we have so much cultural influence that it's very important to incorporate. Interaction across sectors has also been very valuable. Because of this interaction, for example, the schools were able to influence how the publishing companies developed the model for selling digital books. It is very important and really broadens the discussion when you bring in other people who are going to influence what is happening in your community. Students in K-12, for example, are the students that are going to go into Higher Ed. That is my experience and it has been very rich.
-- Cristiana Assumpcao
A specific area I think that a CoP is vital to is OERP. Not only for Awareness and Adoption of Open resources and Pedagogy, but also a CoP is the only way I think OERP will attain and sustain quality and significance in education.
Open Education Community of Practice (from OER Commons): https://www.oercommons.org/groups/open-education-community-of-practice/1762/
One of the most dynamic, unexpectedly long-lived communities of practice I have experienced developed out of Alec Couros’s Educational Technology & Media massive open online course (#etmooc) in early 2013. It started as an experimental ten-week (comprised of five two-week modules) connectivist MOOC--one in which teachers and learners were co-conspirators in the learning process--and initially attracted approximately 1,500 learners from throughout the world. The crystallizing moment--after ten weeks of well-facilitated discussions extending over a variety of platforms (e.g., the course platform, Twitter, Google Hangouts, numerous blogs in which participants sometimes held asynchronous conversations via their individual blogs, and much more)--came when Alec, on the final day of formal coursework, posted a thank-you note to all of us, and one of our co-conspirators tweeted back the idea that #etmooc wasn’t over until we said it was over. Three years later, a core group of participants was still interacting online as an #etmooc community: holding online gatherings on Google Hangouts and through tweetchats to discuss topics of interest to the community; developing and facilitating its own connectivist MOOC; producing a peer-reviewed paper about what makes an online community thrive; and generally celebrating and benefitting from participation in a learner-drive community of practice. Many people had moved on to other endeavors--including retirement--as of spring 2019, but the foundations of the community remain present in a Slack community so that interactions can resume if/when we find a project of common interest--or simply feel the need to check in with each other to see what we might be doing to further the efforts inspired by Alec and his #etmooc partners. More information is available on the #etmooc site at http://etmooc.org/, and through the numerous postings I completed on my own Building Creative Bridges blog at https://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com/?s=etmooc. The collaboratively-produced article celebrating communities of practice developed in open online environments (“What makes a cMOOC community endure? Multiple participant perspectives from diverse cMOOCs”) remains, sadly and ironically, behind a paywall at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09523987.2015.1053290?scroll=top&needAccess=true.
The discussion of valuing different viewpoints, the critical friend approach, and engaging in civil discourse really resonates as our next offering which will be a teaching mentor micro-credential for those who have successfully completed all three academies. It also reminds me of a presentation I saw on leadership. The university used the Radical Candor model. I've listened to their podcast which is excellent. Here is their website https://www.radicalcandor.com/
-- Christine Kroll
FLEXspace is a community that supports sharing of best practices in learning space design across multiple levels of stakeholder expertise (faculty, AV/IT integrators, facilities planners/architects). The core is a custom portal that enables upload of examples, collaboration across the platform, and download of classroom technology and planning hacks. The goal is to save time and effort by providing meaningful peer practices. The public facing website: www.flexspace.org, shares general information, links to articles, resources, etc., but an account is required to access the full collection of best practices, tools, hacks, research. That’s very intentional, in order to create a little “safe space” where people working in the community can share a little more openly. In less than 5 years, it has grown from beta to version 2.0 with more than 4,000 individual account holders collaborating across 1,200+ institutions across 64 countries.
-- Lisa Stephens
The Horizon Project is a dynamic, global blended (onsite/online) community that began under the auspices of the NMC (New Media Consortium) to track, document, and foster innovations in ed-tech and that continues to thrive under the auspices of EDUCAUSE.
-- Samantha Becker/Paul Signorelli
-- Angela Dick
As an example, Innovative Instructional Technologies in the Classroom, a Faculty Learning Community at Penn State Berks chose to create a blog with community members taking turns posting for each community meeting
-- Stephaine Edel-Malizia
BEST PRACTICE TAGS: Structure + Processes
The Learning Futures Network is a network of forward-thinking organisations, of both school and non-schools, whose thought leaders who are working together to:
Improve outcomes for students and solving the challenges facing a future of life-long learning through powerful and smart use of learning technologies;
Use their collective voice to advance positive change across all sectors of education;
Collaborate with businesses, community, government, entrepreneurs, researchers, and leading education thinkers and to advocate, test and assess new future-focussed approaches to teaching and learning
The Learning Futures Network aims to create the social infrastructure, resources and context to develop more authentic and future-aware processes to support transformation and collaboration across student learning, school and staff development, and connections between and across higher education, industry, cultural and community organisations and the public sector.
— KIm Flintoff
-- Samantha Becker/Paul Signorelli
The Open SUNY Community of Online Practitioners is community of dedicated online teaching practitioners that includes online instructional designers, developers, technologists, faculty, librarians, administrators, etc., all interested in improving what we know about how people teach and learn well online. This community was born out of a need and specific context, it evolved over time, and must evolve to be relevant and to continue to provide value to the community it serves.
Multiple ways to engage: http://bit.ly/OpenSUNYonlineteaching
A signature feature of the Open SUNY online teaching community of practice is the formal codification of the informal roles that previously made up the community membership in the form of Open SUNY Fellows. This is a formal recognition of roles played by online practitioners in our community of online practitioners. See:
Here are some examples of products produced by volunteer workgroups from our community:
-- Alexandra Pickett