Understanding Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks

Being one that does not consider herself especially creative, this took some time.  I decided to try Prezi for the first time, which was a learning experience in itself.  Although my personal interpretation may not be super creative to some, I was thankful for the small success I was able to accomplish.  I suppose creativeness is in the eye of the beholder!  One’s creativeness can be increased through connectivism, communities of practice, and personal learning networks.  Had I not been in the M.E.T. program, I seriously doubt I ever would have tried to create a Prezi.  My confidence to try something new was bolstered by being connected to others with similar interests.  George Siemens states that, “Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.”  While my decision to use Prezi to express my interpretation on connectivism, communities of practice, and personal learning networks may have worked for this project, would I use the same approach in the future?  Considering the time it took me to get it to this point, yes, I probably will use it in the future thanks to being introduced to it through a community of practice.  A side note, I had absolutely no luck with getting the Prezi to actually play in WordPress but was able to atleast  get it to be visible.  Small victory!  I am leaving the frame visible after I spent several hours getting the code written to make it to this point.  I am having to resort to a slide presentation unfortunately which in my opinion presents even less imagination but at this point my frustration level has peaked!

Here is my second attempt at publishing my personal interpretation of Understanding Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks.  I had to resort to Google slides but at least I was able to get it to work.

 

Communities of practice are international with the traditional image being one of a classroom.  Teachers lead students through the learning process often by engaging them with special presentations and the use of materials such as crayons.  My representation encompasses all of these aspects  but concludes by focusing on the world.  For me connectivism is best represented by links.  These links can consist of chain, phones, but most importantly people.  Connectivism could not exist without the human factor.  The hardware makes connectivism possible anywhere in the world but people are what make it work, taking what they have learned and applying it to real-world scenarios.  Without connectivism, our resources would me very limited.  Once people become connected with a community of practice, personal learning networks can be established.  Personal learning networks can be created on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Padlet, or YouTube to mention a few.  Commonality is one of the nine characteristics of a personal learning network as stated by Rajagopal, Brinke, Van Bruggen, and Sloep in Understanding Personal Learning Networks.  Maintaining a personal learning network takes time and dedication.  Always changing, members must stay connected to their community in order to continue to learn from their peers.

 

Resources explaining the theory of Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks:

Cox, A. (Unk). What are communities of practice? A critical review of four seminal works. Retrieved from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wbs/conf/olkc/archive/oklc5/papers/e-4_cox.pdf

Cummings, S. & A. Van Zee. (2005). Communities of practice and networks: reviewing two perspectives on social learning. Retrieved fromhttp://journal.km4dev.org/index.php/km4dj/article/viewFile/9/4

Dunaway, M. (2014). Connectivism: reference services review 39.4 (pp. 675-685). ProQuest. Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/docview/904949815/fulltextPDF?accountid=9649

Hearn, S. & White, N. (2009). Communities of practice: linking knowledge, policy and practice. Background Note.Retrieved from http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/1732.pdf

Kop, R., & Hill, A.   (2008) Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/523/1103

Rajagopal K., Brinke D., Van Bruggen J., & Sloep P. (2012).  Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content, and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. Retrieved from http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3559/3131

Siemens. G. (2004).Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: Learning as network-creation. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/networks.htm

Terrell, S. (2010). Personal learning networks. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Shelly_Terrell/Personal_Learning_Networks_%28PLNs%29

Wenger, E. (2011). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/11736/A%20brief%20introduction%20to%20CoP.pdf?sequence=1

References:

Rajagopal K., Brinke D., Van Bruggen J., & Sloep P. (2012).  Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content, and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. Retrieved from http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3559/3131

Siemens. G. (2004).Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

One thought on “Understanding Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks

  1. Hi Catherine,
    I think its interesting that you say “Once people become connected with a community of practice, personal learning networks can be established.” because I almost thought of it in a backwards way. I interpreted it as an individual creating a PLN to reach out to applicable communities of practice to begin connecting information. I don’t know that either of us is wrong though. I think that because information flows back and forth fluidly, maybe we are both right! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and making me think a little bit harder!

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