Reflections on community in #rhizo14 – more questions than answers

Frances Bell, Learn Online, Sept 07, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A lot of people continue to value community in courses without, I think, comprehending what community is. It's really hard to understand the nature of a community from within. "How can we know about all of the flowers that bloomed? And some of the ones that failed to thrive or died?" Most people, I think, participate in community from their own frame of reference. Bell writes, for example, of Keith Harmon thinking of "the social network involved a social contract." So he sees rules, while by contrast, Bell "didn’t see the rules that he refers to in #rhizo14 and would not really expect to see them." Or contrast this: "‘Caring’ is identified as a distinguishing feature of community," which I think characterizes Dave Cormier's view. Is it any surprise, then, that community is characterized by dichotomies - " theorist/pragmatist ‘divide’, academics/ others" -? Do we have to agree on what a community is before participating in one? I don't think so (and this probably distinguishes me from pretty much everyone else on the topic - but they'll come around). Do read this discussion thread.

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