Communities in Practice in summary

‘The School of Athens’.  Raphael. 1509. Aristotle and Plato – Discussing the respective merits of Idealism vs Realism.

Notes from this months December Web-inar

Communities in Practice in summary –

A shared activity in which people are collectively engaging with an emotional bond that drives collective interactions without force.

Three key aspects to ‘community in practice’

1. A shared passion – The domain in which the community exists, be it online of offline is represented by the collective with commitment and competence, (for example the idiosyncratic practice which gang culture adopts and ultimately leads to the creation of a collective, recognisable identity).

2. A community – An interacting community, interacted with specifically for the benefit of collective improvement/self improvement, (for example – The Parisian world at the turn of the 20th Century ‘La Belle Epoque’, consisting the numerous Parisian Cafes famous for being Artists hangouts. The Painters, the early Impressionists together, conversing, exchanging, but not actually working together).

3. A shared practice – Arrived at from diverse fields and pathways (nurses, surgeons, hunters, tribesmen, musicians, etc).

Network of Practice

What are the benefits of Communities in Practice within the digital domain?

1. The community has access to a shared space, accessing tools, archiving events and open source.

2. It helps link a network of professionals directly with the community, allowing for equal voicing, comment and response from all those involved.

Perceived Disadvantages

1. The community has to communicate through a specific set of online tools, forum-base and generic expressions.

Experience and meaning becomes altered in some way by the mediating tools we use ( e.g. software/hardware/bandwidth).

Peripheral Participation

Genuine activities built in to engage with the peripheral activities of a specific community.

Two communities that dovetail together to benefit both.

Digital Habitats – coined by ‘Wenger’

Create spaces – provide the tools, cultivate the space for communities of practice to happen.

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