Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The first day of 2013!


New Year, New Horizons!

First day of new calendar year!  The intention this year is to hit the ground running with establishing online learning communities!  By the end of the year the target is to have at least two functioning learning communities operating in the UK.  One that I have run myself and one that I have inspired somebody else to set up!

The initial community we have set up is the Haverhill Online Learning Community!  The mission of the Learning Community for 2013 is to set up a peer to peer community where people are mentors and learners in rotation. The aspirational targets we have set ourselves appear in the blog post from the community http://haverhillonlinelearningcommunity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/welcome-to-haverhill-online-learning.html.  This is a "for the people, by the people" learning community.  The blog post forms the basis for our mission charter which will be developed through the year!

In 2013 we have a number of topics we are focussing on a week or fortnight at time.  There is a sense of casting the net wide with suggested topics (that can be found at https://sites.google.com/a/kritirecharge2012.co.uk/haverhill-online-learning-community/calendar).  In the first year of any community we need to gauge the interest of  topics to that community.  We need to find  topics and projects that are relevant to people's interests in Life Long Learning! We also need to make sure that there are a range of mediums and tools to access that Life Long Learning to suit peoples needs.  While we are doing this we also need to appreciate the safety of users since we are appealing to a wide spectrum of the community!

Establishing a blog solely for the Community is one aspect of allowing many forms of particpation!  As the community develops the by line for the posts will hopefully change from +Philip Spalding to other people's views and comments!  We have no problem with people posting opinions that are controversial and may contradict other members but as long as they are done in the best possible way respecting others as individuals.  A healthy learning community whether online or offline,  is one that as the question why!   That is essentially the essence of what we are trying to establish.  The forum to ask Why? Where? What? and involve the local community collaboratively solving the questions or finding new ones.  This is the journey of Life Long Learning.

Over the coming weeks I will be covering some of the technical bits of how to use the Community Resources.  We have a great resource Study Room available for members of the community.  A presentaion will shortly be appearing on the page https://sites.google.com/a/kritirecharge2012.co.uk/haverhill-online-learning-community/the-study-room  .  This is just one of the means of collaborating we have chosen to include.  We have a Google Plus Community which can be found at https://plus.google.com/communities/109558443415099915114, by joining you can chat, hangout via video, and exchange ideas with other members of the community.  The Google Groups section is available for use, as well to keep up to date various projects and exchange information https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups&hl=en#!forum/haverhill-online-learning-community .  A Facebook Group Page exists for those comfortable with communicating through Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HaverhillOnlineLearningCommunity).  The nature of some of these resources means that we are moderating membership along safeguarding principles.  The use of Google sites and Facebook Resources does assume that in order to join the community you must be over 13.   This is the only age or group stipulation put in place.

So by the end of 2013 we aim to have established an inclusive community for Life Long Learning.  Please, feel free to visit any of the pages.  If you feel you can contribute to the Life Long Learning of Haverhill or are just curious come and join us.  You can email us on Haverhilolc@gmail.com.

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