Monday, September 11, 2006

On the sustainability of this network

One of the goals of any E-learning networks projects such as this is to set up a network that is sustainable.

People on the Net are participating in learning networks all of the time, and they exist for as long as they serve a need.

I saw our role as facilitators of this project - which is about experientially exploring a distributed, networked learning model - as being responsible for setting up the online spaces and tools, creating the environment, articulating the vision, explaining how the network/community/model works and give instruction and guidance on how to get involved and participate.

Essentially our role is to kick-start a self-organising and self-sustaining network.

In time, the project would come to an end, the money will be spent, the facilitators will have moved on or become regular members of the network with their own PLEs, and the blog will have served it's purpose.

Hopefully, what we will be left with is a community of bloggers posting to their own blogs, commenting on other member's blogs, subscribing to other blogs in their RSS readers, linking to other blogs in their blogrolls and contributing resources using the 'clcommunity' tag on del.icio.us.

In fact, the 'clcommunity' tag on del.icio.us may be the only 'tool' set up by the facilitators that is left to connect the community and even indicate that there is any community happening. Most of the other tools (excuding the wiki) need some form of adminstration or effort to keep going. The delicio.us tag doesn't.

The blog may take on a new role and evolve into a place for discussion about the issues involved in Web 2.0 in education, PLE's, PLN's, networked learning etc. but there will be no centre of the network anymore, with all member's blogs existing as nodes in a flat network.

We are still exploring ways to create a combined feed (more on that in a later post) which may continue well after the project has officially finished, but, once again, if we don't find a tool that can be communally administered, then it may go by the wayside as well.

I wanted to re-iterate this vision and the importance of creating a sustainable network because I think it's important to remember that the project tools aren't the network - the network is a community of interconnected bloggers and their PLEs.

Funny little aside: when writing this post I discovered that Blogger's spell-checker doesn't recognise the words 'blog', 'blogging' or 'blogger'!

(Image by sillygwailo)

46 Comments:

Blogger BiddyB said...

Sean,
In a virtual classroom, I always find silence hard to read. Are people bored, angry, timid, ruminating, lost, finding it hard to capture their thoughts quickly, learning through listening and watching, away or possibly even asleep? I can only speak personally for my own (relative)silence in the CLC. I am moving between so many communities, online and offline and all of them, like this one, are inspiring and inviting. In fact, the number seems to be growing at a rate faster than I remember before. Through lack of time (not passion), I feel I am neglecting many of them, unable to contribute fully and thoughtfully in the way that has been my habit. No matter what else, you have given us a glimpse of a vision and I never ever underestimate the power and longevity of that. In admiration,
Delia.

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