Communities of Practice & Learning Focus

CoPIn the Foundations of Communities of Practice (#FCoP09) workshop I am attending, I am learning a lot more about communities of practice than I expected. I was not really sure what to expect in this workshop, though I did anticipate (correctly, it seems) that I would meet a lot of interesting people, some of whom I hope become lasting colleagues.

I had a revelation over the weekend, partly due to a number of questions I asked about communities of practice (CoP) that were answered by Etienne Wenger, the CoP guru (and the one who, along with Jean Lave, coined the term). One of the things I learned in the last week is something I have heard more times than I can count about communities of practice (CoP), though it never sunk in until now.

A community of practice is primarily about learning.

This is a social learning framework, and with the 3 domains necessary for a community of practice (domain, community, practice), it seems they all contribute to the learning, whether the learning is the intentional goal or not.

I never really considered learning to be the focus of a community of practice, and this insight is now worth the price of admission for me. I finally get it . . . I now see how to accurately use this as a research framework, as well as how others have been doing this incorrectly . . .

Foundations of CoP, Week 2

This week in CPsquare’s Foundations of Communities of Practice (CoP) workshop, Etienne Wenger will be facilitating our work around various domain issues, as we break down into smaller communities within the context of our larger community that comprises the workshop.We have already had a whirlwind week with hundreds of community postings. So many of our workshop participants seem so much mre outgoing and extroverted than I am, and while this may not be the case (just like many of our perceptions do not hold the entire story), I do feel a bit overwhelmed with so much activity.

cpsquare-with-bylineThis workshop is compised of a fascinating group of people, many of whom I hope to learn more about over the remaining 6 weeks, and I am very glad we will narrow things down a bit to begin working on whatever tasks we devise. With so many interesting backgrounds and such passion among the participants, I am now more intrigued about where we are going than when I started.

I wonder how many of them will ultimately plan to attend the Networked Learning Conference 2010, as a number of them already seem to be closer to Europe and Denmark than I am?