To blog or not to blog….

…that is the question.

This is my first blog post using WordPress and the purpose of this blog, in the short term, is to examine and evaluate the use of blogs to create communities of practice. Wenger is the advocate of Communities of Practice and to what extent do online blogs facilitate the emergence of a useful and effective community.

My first blog using edublogs, Sheardie’s Action Research Blog, was primarily a monologue and a self-reflective tool so I am interested to explore how we can use blogs to create “dialogue” amongst peers, to share, collaborate and LEARN.

I have really enjoyed our first session this morning and like the structure of the module. I am pleased that we are dovetailing Web2.0 technologies such as YouTube, Flickr, RSS etc. I can’t wait!

I will see blogs from a different perspective and looking forward to the bird’s eye view!

Attribution:  Some rights reserved by etgeek (Eric) under Flick CreativeCommons

7 thoughts on “To blog or not to blog….

  1. Excellent to see you thinking with theory, even in your first post, Beth. I enjoyed the session yesterday and am really excited to see what you all make of the different tools as the weeks unfold…

  2. This is unmistakeably your blog, Beth, which is great. You have such a distinctive writing style which seems well suited to blog writing 🙂 This CoP business is really tricky, especially online. Yesterday my students lead a session to start to establish their own online wiki community, which they did brilliantly. But the interesting thing is they felt the f2f contact is really important in the early stages, though they want to make the move to messaging, communicating and working more on line now. As the one who had suggested their CoP, I found myself suddenly shunted from the middle of the panopticon to the peripheries, which was a great feeling. I guess they’ve staked their claim :-)))) It made me think of the day school on Saturday and how the f2f interaction and the ‘we’ exercise really spurred us on.
    Your picture of the starlings (?) is great and really evokes all that I’ve read about CoPs and their evolving (and malleable) nature. You might like this:
    Cox, A. M. (2005) ‘What are communities of practice? A comparative review of four seminal works’ Journal of Information Science, vol.31, no.6: pp. 527-540 [online] Available at [Accessed 14 August, 2011]
    For me it was a solid starting point for thinking about CoPs.

      • I moved from the centre of the activity to the periphery, watching them work together and shape the starting content of their wiki and discussing what they want to do with it and how they want to use it. What I saw them do was student-student and student-content interaction. Funnily enough, also content-content when they made connections between the different kinds of content they had thought up. It was really interesting and inspiring to see and actually bought a (secret) tear to my eye. Anyway, glad to have ‘made you’ look something up as it got me thinking a bit more about my project.
        What is it about Wenger’s theories that attract you? I’d love to know what others think.

      • Thanks for clarification. I’m still not quite sure about the Panoptican and how it fits with the online community. I uderstand the Hawthorne Effect but anyone know how the idea that we are writing for an audience, or not, impacts on our activities?

        Short and sweet answer to your question about Wenger. Wenger’s example of “a band of artists seeking new forms of expression” sits well with me.

        We are all beavering away passionately blogging whilst moulding our thinking and for many of us it is all new!

        Craig, you and I are on our second online collaborative journey together so the boat may not be as rocky for us but I wonder how others are faring? I have been taking a peek and it is really interesting how all our styles are so different. Blogging will not be for everyone.

        Tears to your eyes? Do your learners know?

  3. Hi Beth,
    Thanks for your comments and sorry it’s taken so long to reply. I only have one day a week to do the MSc, with work and being a single mum, and I must admit that I am somewhat lost! I can’t even access your last message – I read it last week, but I can’t seem to find it again! Oh dear!
    I think I’m going to have to go see someone!
    I shall have a look at the other blogs now and try to figure out what to do next.
    Thank you for getting in touch!

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