Communities of Practice (CoP) are a great way for professionals to grow: can you imagine what does it mean having a group of experts and professionals to back you up when you need it? This is just one of the advantages of being part of a CoP. Lead3.0 is promoting its own Community dedicated to educators from academies, schools or corporate that want to discover how to benefit from digital tools, how to create online courses, or how to support digital learning. But before we talk of that, let’s make a step behind…
The term Community of Practice (CoP) indicates a group of people who share an interest, a passion or a profession. Cognitive anthropologist Jean Lave and educational theorist Etienne Wenger proposed the term in their 1991 book Situated Learning, then Wenger deepened the question in his 1998 book Communities of Practice (you can get both books on the Amazon, here and here ). CoPs can exist both online (as it is for Lead3.0 CoP) or offline, but members don’t need to share the same space in order to be recognized as a Community. CoPs can develop naturally from members’ interests, or can be specifically designed to support the development of new skills and knowledge. Members of a CoP learn from each other by sharing experiences and information related to their specific field. You can read an article by Wegner on what is exactly a CoP.
If you’d like to know more, you can watch this video interview with Etienne Wenger, who is a bright and joyful speaker – so nice to listen to him!
Lead3.0 CoP is specifically designed to support the work of trainers and educators that want to discover new digital means to help them in their day-to-day practice. Online learning, e-lessons and MOOCs are growing, especially when it comes to educational solutions for large companies. Blended learning is also raising: many educators nowadays find themselves delivering only part of their content physically in the classroom. The debate regarding pro’s and con’s of online learning dates way back, and still we don’t have a clearly right or wrong answer. The truth is that online learning is here, and it’s up to you whether you’d like to embrace it or to ignore it. We think that some digital tools can be very, very useful even in the most traditional classroom: have a look for example at Desmos (if you’re keen on maths), instaGrok (to discover EVERYTHING – look at the concept map about CoP it produced in just moments!), or Cold Turkey (if you need to get distraction out of the way). There is a lot to read online in order to learn more on the matter, but we especially like this blog. Also the BBC has something to say on the topic.