My understanding of a Community of Practice (CoP) is that it is a collaborative learning process that involves the collective wisdom of a group (the community) so that when the individual’s share and communicate their ideas, regularly, (the practice) this enhances the learning for all participants. The key to a CoP is the socialization and interaction that facilitates learning between each member. Its capacity to transform the learning of an individual, compared to what they could have learnt by themselves, is an intriguing study. Want to know more? Get an overview from, Etienne Wenger, one of the theorists who helped first coin the phrase: http://www.ewenger.com/theory/
In the staffroom of my current school is a phrase on the wall which I think is applicable here “Each one of us has a piece of WISDOM. No one has all the WISDOM”. I am so grateful that the staff at this school actually believes this to be true and regularly practise this in their collaboration and interaction with each other. We take on a shared responsibility for every individual student and regularly discuss the best possible practice to meet the needs of our school.
My definition of a PLN is an online learning environment set up by educators for those interested/involved in education. It’s a place to share information, ideas and opinions; sort of like an online book club for teachers and facilitators in education. After viewing many and varied PLN’s, I have come to the conclusion that it can be whatever the creator wants it to be. There is so much media available to the PLN creator that the possibilities are endless. Each week I will try to include a handy hint (something that helped me in my learning and hopefully will help you too).
So, Handy Hint #1: a blog I found by chance when starting on my own PLN: