Affinity Space Reflection and Presentation

Although my affinity space failed to function as a healthy affinity space should, it did provide valuable insights as to how an affinity space should function and the benefits that can be garnered from such communities.  Upon recently finalizing my affinity space presentation, it provided me with the opportunity for a more holistic overview of my chosen affinity space, Teachers.net.

Over the weeks and through my attempted participation, I came to the very important realization that an affinity space must have moderators and current content to stay relevant with its fan base.  Teachers.net, despite providing the venues for the sharing of content, had far too few active members to make it a sustainable site.  Perhaps that is why affinity spaces with focused content such as a particular novel or series or a specific video game encounter success.  The members are not spread so thin that each post does not gain the full attention of the community, even for a very brief moment.

One of my early reservations about affinity spaces was the concern of having likeminded individuals regurgitating the same ideas with no contrasting viewpoints or constructive conflicts.  Even in the limited interaction amongst members in Teachers.net, this fear was quelled with a variety of backgrounds and skill sets that were brought to the table regardless of a shared passion for teaching.

With the closing of the affinity space project, I have no reservation about discontinuing my involvement with my chosen space.  However, a flame has been sparked to explore and engage in other communities as I have now the potential and obvious benefit in participating in affinity spaces.

Should you like to view my affinity space presentation, it is available on youtube at the following link:    B. Potter Affinity Space Presentation.  Please feel free to post any comments or questions to this posting.

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One thought on “Affinity Space Reflection and Presentation

  1. Hello Ben,

    I think that it was very proactive of you to find an affinity space that match your professional/schooling goals. The concept of a for teachers by teachers affinity space seems great but, as you reported, could have down sides.

    I think you made insightful comments on what you observed in the AS. The structure of the space seems to have be developed to quickly connect teachers with the resources and answer they need, I know that in a quickly changing learning environment that often the best resource is the one I can locate the fastest. I thought that having a layer of membership to sign up for interest based mailings is a unique wrinkle for this AS.

    It seems that the lack of member participation stunted your ability to see a progression in your contributions but I think that your activity of putting ideas out into the community and then being self motivated to dig through the collected content shows that your found ways to learn in the space even if there was not much dialogue. The analogy you made that this space is like a library seems to fit perfectly.

    The strengths of the community seem to be in line with the concept that it is more of a library, there is lots of content – from lesson plans, to craft activities – that have been organized of teachers to access quickly. The limitations seem to more centered around to lack of participation. It could just take the founding members to implicitly start reacting to threads that have gone quite, trying to re-energize the discussion community.

    The three concepts you choose from Gee and Hayes do a nice job of illustrating the teachers.net AS:

    1 Common endeavor – The users on the space are looking of insights in teaching practice with a goal of evolving into better educator.
    2 Users can produce not just consume – Even if there is not a lot of activity on discussion boards the opportunity to produce is central to this AS, as the lesson plans and activities are share from the teacher members.
    3 individually proactive – With the library like set-up users can be self direct to find the resources that will benefit their teaching practice.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and analysis!

    Darren

    Like

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