I decided to create a slideshow of photos for my creative expression assignment to demonstrate my understanding of communities of practice, connectivism, and personal learning networks. I used animoto to create this slideshow.
I found this creative experience to be personal, once I started looking for photos. This was particularly true when reflecting on what I thought communities of practice was. Communities of practice are everywhere and we are generally involved in a number of them (2013).
I included photos of the various activities I have participated in, which all involved a community of people. I am a member of communities such as musical groups (Estonian Diplomatic Choir, Beaufort Flute Choir, etc.) sports groups (Southeast Asia Ultimate Frisbee teams and Zumba instructor groups) and volunteer groups (AmeriCorps and other non-profit Boards of Director.) Communities of practice differ from connectivism and personal learning networks in that the community has an aspect of identity tied to it. It is not just the topic or subject area that binds people together, it is the shared identity of the group that makes it unique.
For connectivism, I included photos of various learning environments including computers, books and a classroom or school. I think the theory of connectivism is how people can work independently on different goals, but through shared resources. People may not have shared identities like communities of practice, but they do learn in similar environments.
I expect personal learning networks for me personally, to grow and develop in the next few weeks. Though I don’t use any type of social networking tool personally, in the past week I have seen the immense number of resources available in Diigo, Twitter and Facebook. Alec Couros describes the development of a PLN as a significant time commitment initially, but losses can be regained quickly through networked efficiencies, enhanced learning experiences, and new opportunities (2008). This leads me to believe that the more you are familiar with PLNs and use them, the better you can maximize its benefits. Personal learning networks are connected through the subject you are seeking to study. For example, the first personal learning network experience I had was years ago when I discovered a flute listserv. In the slideshow, I also included screenshots of other PLNs such as a Zumba Instructor Network group on Facebook and a Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker group on Facebook.
Communities of practice, connectivism and personal learning networks are different, but are also connected. I chose to use one hand as a symbol of each, and the connection of hands to represent how all are connected. When it comes to communicating and connecting, I thought a hand is an easy symbol to identify with people. All three – communities of practice, connectivism and personal learning networks all have people in common. Without it, they would not exist.
Couros, A. (2010). Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning. Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. Retrieved June 9, 2016 from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120177/ebook/06_Veletsianos_2010-Emerging_Technologies_in_Distance_Education.pdf
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved June 9, 2016, from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120177/ebook/06_Veletsianos_2010-Emerging_Technologies_in_Distance_Education.pdf
Smith, M.K. (2013). Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger and communities of practice. Retrieved June 9, 2016, from http://infed.org/mobi/jean-lave-etienne-wenger-and-communities-of-practice/