HourSchool Missions Activate Communities of Practice
In a nutshell: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
The key word is “practice.” As we learn-by-doing, we develop practices that change who we are and the way we define ourselves. As we grow and achieve our goals (“I want to learn how to cook” “I want to run a marathon” “I want to make my own website”), we can adopt new identities (“I’m a cook” “I’m a runner” “I’m a hacker”).
HourSchool missions help people participate in a community of like-minded peers. In addition to learning new things, the community’s support allows people to practice and experiment in a new mindspace. Learning becomes ingrained when it extends beyond the classroom setting, so we built it into our missions: HourSchool encourages people to host a variety of events, from classes and workshops to socials and working sessions.
What does this end up looking like? Here’s an example grounded in the kinds of conversations we hear every day.
I recently attended a day-long introductory workshop to Ruby on Rails, but I won’t become comfortable in the programming language unless I continue learning through my own projects. The chances of me continuing with my own projects are greater if I surround myself with other Rails developers, if I attend hacker nights where I feel comfortable asking questions, and if I start to feel part of the Rails community. I want to find people to pair-code with, and I also want to find people I can hang out with at the next Rails happy hour event. HourSchool lets me start a mission and rally people in my local geographic area. I can connect with others with similar goals as me (learn to program), and I can find support from those who know a little or a lot more than me.
Communities of practice are everywhere, and we are naturally a part of many different communities. But sometimes when we want to try something new, have moved to a new place, or are just dreaming BIG…it can be hard to jump into a new community. HourSchool wants to make it easier for people to achieve their dreams. We want to help you activate your community of practice.
HourSchool wants to be part of the conversation at SXSWEdu about building learning communities and engaging students in peer learning. What do you want to see at this year’s conference? Vote for our talk here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/7478