Virtual Learning Communities, and Collaboration

Virtual Learning Communities, and Collaboration

I consider myself a "Digital Alice in Wonderland." Meaning, I follow many an EdTech rabbit down the proverbial holes on the internet. Before experiencing this course, I considered myself tech-savvy, maybe even a bit of an EdTech junkie. Artificial Intelligence has fascinated me since the single red light representing the consciousness of HAL graced the silver screen. Prior to the course, I was a hoarder of EdTech information, but not an expert in any one area of EdTech. I knew I wanted to master a small corner in order to serve my digital native students and their not-so-native parents better. So when looking for additional (as I was already a member of many, such as Teach Thought, Khan Academy, Common Sense, Edutopia) Virtual Learning Communities, I tried to be more of a curator than a hoarder. I am not sure I achieved my goal - but I found some pretty amazing communities that I plan on sharing with colleagues. 

Communities Joined:

  • Apple Teacher
  • Teachade
  • iEarn-USA = International Education and Resource Network
  • AASL - American Association of School Librarians.

These four have a specific purpose to my practice - iEarn is directly related to Magana and his T3 framework. Apple teacher will leverage my use of the iPad in my practice. Teachade is a great place for me to start networking - I tend to isolate myself as many of do, I'm not ready to jump on Twitter as an educator quite yet, but Teachade looks promising. AASL - all teachers/educators need to view themselves as librarians - library science is not an option - it is an imperative - we need to be equipped with the tools to help students navigate the flat world of primary, secondary and nonsensical resources. 

Communities of practice are situated at the pinnacle of Magana’s T3 framework. When students can use technology to investigate a “wicked real-world problem that matters to them,” communities of practice or Social Entrepreneurship, is the warehouse for potential student learning. From the identification of the problem or inquiry, to solution/resolution brainstorm and generation, to communication, iteration, and defense of knowledge contribution, students are applying technology in a transcendent manner By asking “what-if” and then employing technology at all levels and for all tasks, students and then engaging their practice by sharing individual knowledge contributions in practice with like-minded or liked-practicing individuals, student learning potential is without measure. It is from this space that students can intrinsically transcend from consumers, producers, contributors to inquirers, problem solvers and digital toolmakers.