Friday, December 12, 2008

LMS Advantage: Community Building

A few days ago, I participated in a great video exchange regarding a simple question: What is Community?

In my discussions regarding LMS integration into Brick and Mortar schools, a topic is "Community Building."

  • Homework Assignments
  • Recording Live Sessions for review
  • Community Building
  • Progress Reporting
  • Course Content Delivery
  • Group Projects
  • Gradebook use and distribution
  • Direct Parent Communications
  • Enhancing Teacher Preparation Skills (and Instructional Design)
  • Delivering Media
  • Assessments
  • Reaching Non-Participants (from your class)
  • Assisting with Absenteeism
  • Substitute Teacher Prep (thanks Dr. Karl Kapp)
There are some interesting posts, but I tend to think there are many more thoughts out there. See my post under my username viaEdTECH.

Community Question: Define Community (Cole Camplese)

Point 1: While it may seem obvious that students have the best avenue for creating community in brick and mortar schools (ie - they actually attend a school), I would posit that community is not automatically created when people are in direct contact with each other.

Point 2: Schools have an obligation to create community with all students. Think about the students who are reserved, those that do not participate in class often, don't raise their hand, or speak with other students. While we as educators should help those students socialize, forcing them to stand up in front of class often is more harmful than we can imagine. We should not forget that those students need a community and potentially, virtual communities can be a welcome addition to the class for them.

Point 3: Community for a school means inclusion of parents, local citizens, community leaders, business leaders, volunteers, local and not so local experts, school officials, school board members, etc.

So here is my challenge -- take all of the people from Point 3, get them together at the school enough times to build a common community (referring to Point 1) and ensure students from Point 2 take an active part in the conversation. How would you do it?

Post here - I would love to review your responses.

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