Towards an [Online] Community of Practice

Showcase Forums Teen Science Cafe Workshop Discussion 2015 Towards an [Online] Community of Practice

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  • #3522
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    Pivoting off the the Teens and Socia Media topic https://teensciencecafe.org/forums/topic/teens-and-social-media/ let me offer a few ideas re: making a national community of practice with the TSCN. I have an extensive bibliography on online communities of practice for students. Here are a few references.

    C. Hubert, B. Newhouse, and W. Vestal, Building and Sustaining Communities of Practice. 2001: American Productivity & Quality Center.
    Heiberger, G. and R. Harper, Have you Facebooked Astin lately? Using technology to increase student involvement. New Directions for Student Services, 2008. 2008(124): p. 19-35.
    Junco, R., G. Heiberger, and E. Loken, The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 2010. 27(2): p. 119-132.
    Trowler, V., Student engagement literature review. York: Higher Education Academy, 2010.

    I am presuming that we want a COP that accomodates the adult mentors (us) including the visiting scientists, the YLTs, and the body of teen participants.

    One way to do this is via BuddyPress, a plugin of WordPress. I notice that teenscienceafe.org is a WordPress site, so we might be halfway home. Check out these sites as interesting background,

    http://buddypress.org/2013/01/an-online-community-for-educators-built-with-buddypress/
    http://azraelgroup.com/building-a-community-of-practice/
    http://commonsinabox.org/

    In a BuddyPress site TSCN members can have Forums (just like we have here). They can make Groups and Sub-groups. They can see, friend or like each other, or each other’s content. Each adult, YLT and each teen participant can have their own blog where they can write about their own science experiences and needs, challenges they face, and accomplishments they achieve. They can exchange ideas, collaborate on projects and learn from each other in a safe, focused online learning community.

    Plus the the extent that blogging is good pedagogy,

    http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/gera/2014/2014/79/
    https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/35769
    http://langwitches.org/blog/2014/06/03/blogging-as-pedagogy-facilitate-learning/
    http://thenjournal.org/feature/175/
    http://anne.teachesme.com/2006/05/31/blogs-and-pedagogy/
    http://www.igi-global.com/article/stay-out-way-kid-video/51379

    implementing a BuddyPress site would build on TSCN COP’s already good theoretical and practical foundation.

    Another thing that a BuddyPress site would allow is a platform for facile analysis of the TSCN network topology and dynamics.

    #3647
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    One is teaching members the skills to conduct virtual meetings with a dispersed group of teens;

    Google Hangout seems to be the most reliable of the free VC platforms. It works on all operating systems and smartphones.
    http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/.
    Skype works ok. But I find that it sometimes has data collisions.
    Teens love Facetime. But that is Mac dependent as far as a computer goes, and iphone dependent vis a vis smartphones. But I’m sure
    Android et al have a similar facility.
    second is how do you incorporate interactivity in discussion as well as some type of investigation? What works and for which kinds of topics?
    There are many, many, solutions that have more interactive bells and whistles. I like Saba, http://www.saba.com
    One common feature is where the moderator take control of the desktop, where questions can be asked w/o interrupting a speaker, polls can be taken in situ, etc, etc.
    But probably our best bet is to use a WordPress plugin of which there are several. My thinking here is predicated on the idea that the TSCN will implement WordPress/Buddypress collaboration website. They folks at WPMU seem to keen on Video Whisper. I find their advice to always be quite solid, and their customer service vis a vis maintaining a WP site is great. Important they are the same people that do eduBlogs, so they have a sense of what’s needed to run a collaborative blog network in an educational context. This particular plugin, and probably others like it, require more than just the usual hosting solution. If we implement this via the TSCN website there might have to be hosting upgrade to something like WPEngine.
    third how do you use these same tools and potentially these same events to build a virtual teen community that takes on a life of its own?
    A potential problem is that if the teens do not have access to broadband, then all of this will be very difficult to implement.

    #3658
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    An excellent general reference on creating successful online communities is Kraut and Resnick, Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design http://amzn.to/1Jon7bo.

    And this article is an interesting exposition of promises and perils of a digital community in our context,
    The Role of After-School Digital Media Clubs in Closing Participation Gaps and Expanding Social Networks, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2013.866870

    #3707
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    This reference is very interesting vis a vis creating an online community of practice for teens.

    The Role of After-School Digital Media Clubs in Closing Participation Gaps and Expanding Social Networks http://bit.ly/16kMKOm

    #3709
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    An online community of practice, i.e., a blogging community, would be good not only for the teen participants, but also with us, the TSCN adult science educational professionals (which is slightly different than our social media strategy).

    An online community for educators built with BuddyPress http://bit.ly/1z6BuLl

    I especially think a blogging community, i.e., where we can write extended essays, would be good for the TSCN, especially for those that are not academics and thus have very little incentive to compose and submit a formal paper to a peer-reviewed journal. This is spoken to directly in the NAS report, Learning Science in Informal Environments http://bit.ly/1tWiZ0A in conclusions 15 and 17.

    And of course there is incredible value in using blogging as pedagogy vis a vis letting students find their cognitive identity and letting them express what they know, or don’t know, in a low-stress, free-form format, finding shared-experience peers, etc. It would great for the TSCN and the teens if we provided them a place where they can have their own blog where they can write about their own science-related experiences and needs, challenges they face, and accomplishments they achieve; where they can exchange ideas, collaborate on projects and learn from each other in a safe, focused online learning community.

    The Role of After-School Digital Media Clubs in Closing Participation Gaps and Expanding Social Networks http://bit.ly/16kMKOm
    Learning Through Digital Media » Beyond Friending: BuddyPress and the Social, Networked, Open-Source Classroom http://bit.ly/UKEP6a
    Using Online Pedagogy to Explore Student Experiences of Science-technology-society-environment (STSE) Issues in a Secondary Science Classroom http://bit.ly/1CSuXtH
    Using Writing to Confront Student Misconceptions in Physics. European Journal of Physics, Vol. 20, pp. 137 – 141 http://bit.ly/1bQF5qD
    What’s it worth? The perceived benefits of instructional blogging http://bit.ly/16arHgl

    #3711
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    “It helped me do my science.” A Case of Designing Social Media Technologies for Children in Science Learning http://bit.ly/1zvsbbs

    #3737
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    Steps to implement online community of practice w/ BuddyPress

    1. For us adult leaders, enable Multisite (subfolders) in the current instance of WordPress at teensciencecafe.org

    2. For the teens create in the teensciencecafe.org DNS zone a URL of something like http://community.teensciencecafe.org and install WP in a separate directory on the server. Enable Multisite (subfolders). Activate the current teensciencecafe.org theme in this new installation for consistency of branding.

    3. Install the following plugins: (we can talk about what each one does)
    Commons In A Box
    Akismet
    Anti-Splog
    Automessage
    Batch Create
    Blog ID in Site Admin Menu
    BuddyPress
    BuddyPress Group-O-Matic
    BuddyPress Toolbar
    Bulk Delete
    Enhanced BibliPlug
    IM8 Exclude Pages
    Jetpack by WordPress.com
    Kcite
    Multisite Privacy
    Network Switch Button
    New Blog Templates
    Reports
    Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin
    Ultimate Branding
    User Activity
    User Spam Remover
    WordPress Chat
    WP-Orphanage
    WPMU DEV Dashboard
    WP SMTP
    WP Super Cache
    WPtap Mobile Detector
    BuddyPress Community Stats
    BuddyPress Like
    BuddyPress Wiki Component
    Included in CBOX
    BP Group Documents
    BuddyPress Group-O-Matic Pro
    BuddyPress Group Email Subscription
    BuddyPress Extended Friendship Request
    WP-Toolset – Types
    Postie
    Embed Google Docs
    Media Library Category
    Media Vault Or WPMU Membership
    Network shared media
    User Role Editor
    ClickMeter Link Shortener and Analytics
    Remove Permalinks Menu
    BuddyPress Follow
    plus a few others to take in Instagram and Vine feeds, and an aggregater of Twitter feeds.

    4. Create a Group for each site, also groups for each area of science, plus maybe some other major topics that might emerge, e.g., the various tests they take,i.e., SAT, ACT, AP etc, etc

    5. Since we would want each user to be able to access the forum from their own site, some modification to the bbforum code will have to be done. This link tells you how, https://gist.github.com/sc0ttkclark/e5de9d9f2f13964bcecc

    6. This is very optional, but I would maintain a synchronized site as a hot-standby on a separate host in case of primary server failure (using http://sidejump.net/ or something similar)

    What we would have are websites where each adult and separately each child can have the own blog, which they can use as their own workspace. Everyone would be able to see and follow each other as they want. There would interest groups, and forums.

    Here are some references for background,

    http://buddypress.org/2013/01/an-online-community-for-educators-built-with-buddypress/
    http://azraelgroup.com/building-a-community-of-practice/
    http://wenger-trayner.com/theory/
    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/09/26/buddypress-one-plugin-five-communities/
    http://cc.fullcirc.com/buddypress/content/practice/
    http://coreyjmahler.com/topics/setting-up-a-wordpress-multisite-install-to-use-multiple-domains/

    The Role of After-School Digital Media Clubs in Closing Participation Gaps and Expanding Social Networks http://bit.ly/16kMKOm
    Learning Through Digital Media » Beyond Friending: BuddyPress and the Social, Networked, Open-Source Classroom http://bit.ly/UKEP6a
    Using Online Pedagogy to Explore Student Experiences of Science-technology-society-environment (STSE) Issues in a Secondary Science Classroom http://bit.ly/1CSuXtH
    Using Writing to Confront Student Misconceptions in Physics. European Journal of Physics, Vol. 20, pp. 137 – 141 http://bit.ly/1bQF5qD
    What’s it worth? The perceived benefits of instructional blogging http://bit.ly/16arHgl
    “It helped me do my science.” A Case of Designing Social Media Technologies for Children in Science Learning http://bit.ly/1zvsbbs

    #3777
    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris
    Participant

    Can TSCN turn these ideas of using blogging in the classroom towards having a community of blogs in and out-of-school-time, informal science education context?

    *** Blogging in Science Classroom http://bit.ly/1yKzW9S
    *** Creating a Science Classroom Blog http://bit.ly/1AI45fZ
    *** Blogging in the Science Classroom: The Worksheet is Dead | Science Education on the Edge http://bit.ly/1DgdgpI

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