a ‘Learning Community’ developers Academy?

So often, lots of work is devoted to creating tools and making them available, only for there to be a Gaping Void when it comes to the hard graft needed with actually getting people sat down and comfy with what’s practically involved in a virtual community. It really is a more complex version of helping people realise that you don’t need to shout into the phone, ’cause the person you’re conversing with is actually a long way away…

In this point, it’s good to note that there’s good work starting up in Argyll & Bute, with a very dispersed (some of them live & work on islands, literally) group of practitioners working with children with disabilities, centred upon asyncronous(?) online discussion of s eries of complex case scenarios. But first, some structured exercises are being worked through, so as to help participants get at ease with this unfamiliar discourse.

Later on when talking to a colleague at the eLib, about the Communities of Practice Toolkit they have drafted (remember the Stirling workshop last autumn?), she smiled wryly and commented that the Argyll & Bute project ‘has permission’ (to get directly involved in CoP development). Whereas (I think) the eLib don’t, and can only go as far as making the tools available in a supportive way (Shared Space + ‘toolkit’ – which isn’t a toolkit so much as a booklet).

Which, on reflection, I thought leave a gap in the market. Hence the notion of an ‘Academy’ for CoP developers where the collective experience of actually developing a CoP for real could be replayed for the benefit of others…. 

  • Might Health be persuaded that they have a need for this – well one can only ask;
  • Meantime could the GIRFEC folk be warmed up to the idea – well, again, one can only ask – I think they might be receptive…
  • Anyone else? Could the SFC’s current commissioning of KT research lead in this direction? And any prospect from the Improvement Service?
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