CoP’s, Connectivism, and PLN’s

Creating a nonlinguistic representation of depicting communities of practice, connectivism, and personal learning networks was more difficult than I initially thought it would be. The reason for this is that they are very closely related and interconnected. This makes it logical to study them together in one unit.
“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly (Wenger-(Trayner,” n.d.) I represented this with different groups of people to represent that communities of practice can be made up of different types of people with different degrees of experience and that people may belong to multiple communities. In order for a group to be considered a community of practice it must meet three characteristic. These include domain, community, and practice. This means that they share a common interest, they participate in activities together, and build relationships with each other. Lastly, they create shared resources and protocols for solving problem.
“Connectivism is a learning theory that explains how Internet technologies have created new opportunities for people to learn and share information across the World Wide Web and among themselves (“Connectivism (Siemens, Downes),” 2015). Social media is the tool most commonly used when sharing information across the internet, which is why I chose an image of a smartphone with Facebook showing. Facebook is one of the most popular platforms world- wide for sharing information.
Lastly, we have personal learning networks commonly referred to as a PLN. “A personal learning network is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment (“Personal learning network,” 2016). Personal learning networks can be much less formal than communities of practice as well as being a lot smaller. Personal learning networks are any connections with other people in which a person learns from. This can be one teacher sharing a lesson plan with another teacher or two teachers working out a problem.
Communities of practice, connectivism, and personal learning networks are completely interconnected in that CoP’s and PLN’s are similar in that they are both geared towards learning and sharing information between people. They are able to function in large part because of internet technologies that allow for people to interact on a global scale. This is the reason I overlapped all of the pictures. Connectivism is common among all of the images while CoP’s and PLN’s are similar in nature, but enough different that they are separate.

Connectivism (Siemens, Downes). (2015, June 1). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from https://www.learning-theories.com/connectivism-siemens-downes.html
Introduction to communities of practice | Wenger-Trayner. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/
Personal learning network. (2016, June 12). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Personal_learning_network&oldid=724857969

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