Monday, February 8, 2010

Community of Practice workshop day 1

The day officially began with a powhiri at the Unitec Marae. I have to say, having been to the Marae about 4 times since it opened last year, I got to hear the story behind where the aspiration for the design came from. All the carvings in the Marae present something from Unitec and the history of Aotearoa (early settlement and developments from here on). The carvings inside most Marae's represent Maori gods but the Unitec Marae is different. It is different because it has a 'community feel in it', it brings together people from all cultural backgrounds and the carvings reflect this.

After the powhiri Etienne gave a very moving speech, not very long but the message he sent out had an immediate effect and showed what sort of person Etienne really is. In my previous blog post I said he was a humble man and in his speech he showed exactly this.

We had morning tea and from here on the day kicked into gear. Ray Meldrum delivered a session on living curricula ( another strategy that ties in quite well with the eLearning strategy). This was followed up by Etienne and Bev with a session on CoP and intro session where they reflected on their own experiences with some CoP's they had been involved in. For me the important message was 'CoP can not be forced', it has to be organic and this is where the strength of a CoP comes from. Etienne even went as far as saying a CoP that is forcefully imposed on a group of people will fail, he then reflected on some of his experience on this. I streamed this session on the internet live using livesteam (url for the stream: I am happy to report I had about 14 views and 3 of them joined in from Australia. I'll be broadcasting the morning sessions every day for this week, you can catch this on the url given above.

The afternoon session focused on finding a purpose for the CoP and identifying the issues that may arise in the process. We'll take this further tomorrow in the afternoon session. I'll blog more on this tomorrow.

(The group session)