I should start by noting that until this class I really wasn’t aware of Google+ communities.
The concept as described in “DIY Media: Creating, Sharing and Learning with New Technologies” certainly sounds like a valuable tool for learning from others with similar interests and concerns. The affinity spaces referred to by Jenkins and Gee, would certainly seem to be a way to, “develop(s) a range of skills and proficiencies that are likely to prove valuable in the workplace, as well as for being able to most fully enjoy one’s interests” (Gee, 2006).
In that context, my search for relevant communities led me to join two Google+ communities – Journalism Educators and Freelance Writers.
The Journalism Educators community links directly to my work in this class and in my actual classroom at Bloomfield College, as well as the design of my multimedia design project. I must confess that I only joined this particularly community because I had difficulty finding another that aligned directly with my interests.
My reluctance in joining stems from a seeming shortage of activity on this community. The posts, while interesting and definitely potentially helpful, all seem to come from the same couple of people and have been limited in their frequency. However, on the plus side, those who have been posting are connected with AEJMC – the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications. Indeed, the community “owner” – Nicole Kraft, won the Innovative Outreach Award from the AEJMC Scholastic Division this summer.
So though limited, there seems to be great potential value in being a part of this community. From the little I have read about Kraft, her work at Ohio State University definitely seems to be an example of the “pull” approach in education. As a specialist in teaching multimedia journalism, Kraft’s work mirrors what Hagel and Brown describe as, “platforms we see emerging are designed to enable individuals and groups to do more with fewer resources, to innovate in ways that actually create new resources where previously there were none, and to otherwise add value to resources we have access to.”
The second community I joined – Freelance Writers – really has nothing to do with my planned project for this class. But it does relate directly to my professional life. Ironically, this community seems to be very active.