(Activity 3.22, 3.23, 3,24)
It felt clever giving this title to a post about Communities of Practice (CoP). However, as I am not sure where I am going to go with the post I don’t really know whether it is relevant or not!
I have covered a little bit of ‘community of practice’ theory before – when I studied Managing Knowledge. In that field they were seen as a refreshing change to an information management approach as they focused more on human interaction.
Then there is my more recent experience – I think the phrase ‘community of practice’ is getting over-used and applied to entities that don’t really fulfill the essence of what Wenger describes – he and Lave coined the term to describe something very particular
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. [source E Wenger, http://www.ewenger.com/theory/ , accessed 27 February 2011]
but it seems to get used to refer to any type of group network, especially when internet based social networking platforms are used.
Seems a pity that we participate in things we think of as ‘communities of practice’ but in reality they are not CoP and therefore we may overlook the opportunity to take part in a ‘real’ one.
Perhaps I need to explore my experiences some more….