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Learning at its Best

communities of practice

http://labconnections.blogspot.com/

via the lovely @onepercentyellow
Imagine if all we focused on in public ed was facilitating people toward their people.
[seeing ed as a conduit to communities of practice. getting kids (teachers/parents/people) into those spaces they are dreaming about. then learning is contextual. what would they do, where would they be if nothing was compulsory.. let’s get them there doing that..]This job of creating serendipity seems perhaps daunting. But what if all it takes is us slowingdown and listening without an agenda.Imagine public ed being a conduit to communities of practice.
Imagine experimenting, wherever you are, and take it wherever (Walk Out Walk On), with one or 10 or 500 people, in a city, a school, a class, a village.  Supply a google spreadsheet, or the device they have in their pocket, or a clipboard, a sidewalk, a wall, mud, ..(space-based), where people can add their name, their interest, their talent, their contact info. Imagine not managing that. Imagine facilitating that. Per choice.We are experimenting in a town of about 70,000. We are garnering a space with enough wall to host this chart. We are inviting people to participate, in the yoga class, the russian session, the guitar lesson, robotics, qr-coding the museum, building a teen shelter, etc. We’re experimenting with the only ticket to get involved includes: your name, your contact info, your talent/time/interest.
We’re experimenting with a gift culture.

…the antidote to our ubiquitous transactional culture that has turned the accumulation of material resources into a near-sacred pursuit the world over.. – Manish Jain

We’re experimenting with crowdsourcing our community to see which communities of practice are currently in need of larger spaces to gather. Then we’ll seek out spaces to gather, via more crowdsourcin. We’ll seek to use spaces we already have.
[our latest idea: eventually the dream is to sell pies in the store front. dry erase walls… for esp parents/adults in community to have a place to come and converse.. share ideas/fears/dreams.
starting out now – (will be future back end of space) – kids crowdsourcing our town for communities of practice.. ie: what interests do you have.. match people up.. see which ones need bigger spaces, etc to gather. doing all this under the guise of talent/time coop, where the focus is giving.]

Let your mind go wild (wilderness areas are vital for the human spirit and creativity). You can do/learn/be whatever you want. Imagine no one needing to be an expert. Then a group gathers with no official expert, and they work together to figure it out, they skype in an expert, the google, they search youtube, the read wikipedia,.. We’ll seek to use people, resources we have.

What we’re thinking about.
Connections are our gold. Communities of practice are our luxury, they are what our souls crave. We crave being with our people.
So – what if pi means more than we ever imagined. What if the 6 degrees of separation, last calculated as 4.47 degrees of separation, is actually going to converge on 3.14152 degrees of separation. What if connecting really is that simple. What if it’s not even degrees of separation of people, but degrees of separation to your community of practice? What if this is the kind of mathematical thinking people can fall in love with?
Look at the circle. The circle of life. Your circle of friends. The diameter represents the distance between the most unlikely connections. It takes about 3 of those distances, till a meet up occurs.
What if that is why pi is so cool, what if that is why it never ends…

What if we believed that.
What if we believed that connecting to your people can happen.
Almost 100% chance, within a city. Within 3 people away.
Almost 100% chance, virtually. Within 3 minutes away.

Connections are gold.
The web is allowing us to converge to our people on three.

Imagine that simple step, over time, changing a person, a room, a city, .. the world.

Connect.
Let’s just give it a try.

 

Here’s us starting out with the be you house.
Our latest presentation of what/how and why we’re doing things.
Next step is securing another location for the pi lab.
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About monika hardy

experimenting with the intersection of city and school. http://about.me/monika_hardy

Discussion

14 thoughts on “communities of practice

  1. Monika, So cool! The links here are great and I spent a lot of time in them…I am appreciative of this vision and its ever growing roots and branches…webs. This is a mic check.

    Questions:

    1. To you, what does “facilitating people toward their people” mean, as a purpose of ed? Can you describe that more so I understand your vision and could then describe it to other people?
    2. What’s the pi lab?
    3. How did the presentation go at the Global Ed conference? What did people want to share and know more about?

    This is a wonderful revolution. You are inspirational.

    Gotta come visit the be you house,

    Kirsten

    Posted by Kirsten Olson | December 12, 2011, 8:37 am
  2. thanks sweet.

    1) seeing ed as a conduit to communities of practice. getting kids into those spaces they are dreaming about. then learning is contextual. what would they do, where woud they be if nothing was compulsory.. let’s get them there doing that..

    2) our latest brainstorm.. eventually the dream is to sell pies in the store front. dry erase walls… for esp parents/adults in community to have a space to come and converse.. share ideas/fears/dreams.
    starting out now – (and future back end of space) – kids crowdsourcing our town for communities of practice.. ie: what interests do you have.. match people up.. see which ones need bigger spaces, etc to gather.

    3) it went well. i think they mostly loved the vision and wanted it to happen soon.

    i did get side-tracked after our trip to ny and in listening to heartfelt requests to join in.. people’s first response is – what about getting in places, ie: college, jobs. so i felt responsible to get going on this video documentation as an alternate means to admission.
    just this last week – had a great convo with Jim and Adam (guys at csu doing research with) – and am back on track to the quiet revolution. this can’t be a sell. if people aren’t ready for a potential risk (which in our opinion is much safer than school, etc, as is, but you know that), then they should probably wait another year.. rather than us providing a safety net to get in to spaces we are questioning as well.
    does that make sense?

    yes.. please come. a year visit would do it.

    Posted by monika hardy | December 12, 2011, 10:49 am
  3. love it.

    another thing that i should mention that really hit me at the global ed conf. Carol came to our session (she did an excellent keynote as well) and at the end she made the comment that changes we make in the us are so important since the rest of the world often watches.

    reading walk out walk on.. been involved in hangouts discussing it. Deborah Friezen is going to join one of the hangouts on jan 18. would love to have more read and join in. the book is spot on with the gift culture and using what we have. i really want to go to India.. meet up with Manish for an intoxicating convo about questioning all our assumptions.. do a cycle yatra..
    edcamp india?

    Posted by monika hardy | December 12, 2011, 11:24 am
  4. Heck yeah to all of it. It’s difficult for a community to see the value of a school that keeps them out; the value of a learning-space that connects people, instead of disconnecting them, is self-evident and sustainable in all sorts of way apart from money.

    Speaking of connections, how goes the communication and work between be you and the high school and division? What practices are working there?

    All the best,
    C

    Posted by Chad Sansing | December 12, 2011, 12:54 pm
  5. hey Chad.. not exactly sure what you mean here:
    work between be you and the high school and division

    i’m assuming you mean because we left the space at the highschool? and are now downtown?

    this pi lab idea and all the continuing constructions at the be you house, and a house next door, are creating spaces for district kids/teachers/parents/community. we’re figuring in the future, government funds could be used, calling all this school by then, but for now.. figuring we need to secure spaces and model this whole idea of learning per choice, spaces per choice.

    so – because now we are more visible.. people, i think, are starting to see that this whole plan really is for each of them. people within the district are starting to request spaces and offer up help to secure them and create them..

    Posted by monika hardy | December 12, 2011, 2:26 pm
  6. what do you mean when you say division Chad?

    Posted by monika hardy | December 12, 2011, 4:19 pm
  7. oh. funny that we use that word.. division… no?

    we are the thompson school district innovation lab. i’m employed by them. we are a part of the district.
    starting next semester.. teachers will have the option to do pd via the pi lab.

    is that what you mean? things like that..?

    we are doing this for and with the district.
    i guess the most formal agreement we have is one of trust. that we care about people.

    Posted by monika hardy | December 13, 2011, 11:13 pm
  8. mock up of what we’re planning to offer next semester for pd: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BYre5SjcnOcZY1sWbt0_Dw2lOMOxgKZ_g4Uu_Oln8Mw/edit

    thoughts?

    Posted by monika hardy | December 14, 2011, 5:51 pm

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