Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 6 Jul 10 20:43
There seems to be a growing awareness that we learn through exploration and discovery more readily than through instruction. Not exactly new - the Montessori method, for instance, acknowledges that point - and employs guides rather than instructors. Communities of practice strike me as learning communities where the act of learning is shared and driven through mutual engagement, and it makes sense that the technology steward, in that context, would be more of a guide or catalyzing agent than someone who provides instruction about technology. I still wonder, though, about those who are slower to learn or resistant to technology adoption. How do we avoid excluding them?
Nancy White (choco) Wed 7 Jul 10 13:38
From my practice, Jon, you start where they are, you encourage, highlight what works and... stay patient.
Ari Davidow (ari) Wed 7 Jul 10 13:40
For me the book was a wonderful set of guidelines - something I could hand to others and expect them to find it useful. The one major lack was useful case studies. I hated the little blurblettes (this is from memory) that would say the sorts of things you might hear on a late night TV ad "one organization in XXX managed to do amazing things with Y" without giving you any useful takeaway about what XXX did and how they achieved Y. I wanted a sense of the diversity of how tools are used that might help expand my sense of how to build or support a CoP - which I would claim is the usual point of such boxes.
Nancy White (choco) Wed 7 Jul 10 13:57
<ari> I'm glad you reminded me about the blurbettes (!!) We had gotten this critique earlier this year and we have had good intentions of putting up the fuller case studies (I think we have about 12) on the blog site. Must. Put. That. On. The. TODO LIST! Thanks. And thanks for the feedback. In the end, after the learning for ourselves, that is the best thing about writing the book - to find that it has been useful.
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 7 Jul 10 14:59
One of the valuable tools in this book is the extensive glossary of terms. That's very nicely done, and can be valuable for those just stepping into this field, or thinking about who to hire to help solve some problems. What an interesting book and conversation. Thank you.
Nancy White (choco) Wed 7 Jul 10 15:49
It's funny, Gail. We hemmed and hawed about the glossary. We started with one that I had on my website for years, updated it, then got some outside help (Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz) to spiff it up. Thanks!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 7 Jul 10 16:19
We're at the end of our two weeks, though everyone's welcome to stay or come back periodically and continue the conversation. Many thanks to Nancy White and John D. Smith! This has been a great conversation; I know I've learned a lot, and will be coming back here to re-read and digest. Also thanks to everyone else who joined the conversation, on or off the WELL.
Craig Maudlin (clm) Thu 8 Jul 10 09:38
I value the Learning Agenda approach to the final chapter of the book and the hard work that leads up to it. I like the sense of 'unpacking the problem' that examining community orientations seems to produce. You've struck a good balance between analysis and synthesis, I think, while making it clear that these activities are far from rote, but must be shaped by an understanding of the community that can only come through participation. Thank you.
John David Smith (johndavidsmith) Thu 8 Jul 10 11:00
This has been really fun, everybody! Thanks to all for the rich conversation. I guess my questions at this point are: * What are the big topics that need exploration and work in the future? (Separate learning agendas for "leading edge" vs "middle of the pack" or "trailing edge" folks?) * Where are such conversations and explorations likely to happen?
Nancy White (choco) Thu 8 Jul 10 11:31
Thanks for the conversation and thanks to <jonl> for being a great host. Thanks <clm> for the feedback. And I'll stick around should things continue to percolate!
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