'Professional Commons', the THIRD PLACE?

comments Commentstotal2
In thinking 'out loud' about this topic, it seemed appropriate that I should post my developing thinking in such a 'THIRD SPACE' Thanks for taking the time to read.

I've been pondering for some time how we can legitimise participation in online learning communities for professionals...to see and value both active contribution and also peripheral participation as professional practice.

Online communities like this one present an incredible opportunity for situated learning to take place. I'm intrigued by the interplay between newcomers and old times, activities, identities , artefacts and communities of knowledge and practice.

Online Communities of practice seem to live in THIRD PLACE, a place that is neither wholly work nor 'home' Oldenburg (The Great Good place, 1989) describes the THIRD PLACE as places where populations are self selected and where conversation is the primary activity.

I orchestrate a few communities of practice or 'professional commons' for educators including Yammer Communities and other external communities. Ive been reading about the conditions for 'real-world' communities to thrive and I wonder if the list below provides some insights into the experiences required to develop and sustain online professional learning communities?

  1. Socialised Relationships
  2. Socialised Events-
  3. Shared artefacts
  4. Shared socialised goals and projects
  5. Shared cultural norms and traditions

Look forward to hearing from you your thoughts about how powerful online communities of professional practice develop and thrive and any examples you may have.

My twitter handle is @sparvell

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