I'm back to this thread of discussion. I really believe we need to think about how WE policy is impacting what WE becomes. I believe we need to think about if WE is a group, a network or a community. And how we define ourselves is implemented as policy to encourage WE to become what we would want. I'm really wanting to avoid group think / like mindedness of the council. I believe this requires some background reading, listening, watching...
- Nancy White - Groups vs Networks
- Stephen Downes - Groups vs Networks Video
- Stephen Downes - Groups vs Networks Slideshare
- Stephen Downes - Groups vs Networks Post
I believe we are a network. For that IMHO implies some autonomy and that we cooperate and accept each others views and build them into what we are doing rather than collaborate where we need to some kind of agreement.
I think that contemporary pedagogical thinking emerging around networks (particularly since "Connectivism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectivism_%28learning_theory%29) is posited as a learning theory) is very significant for projects like WikiEducator.
Given the nature of the Internet (and connectedness) -- I think you are right, we are a network and there are many examples we can cite to illustrate the networked nature of our work. That said, I don't think this is a binary question, for example: Is WikiEducator a Community or a Network? I think these concepts co-exist.
We are a network in the sense that:
- Every WikiEducator is a "node" in a complex network, they bring their connections, associations and experience to the table.
- Their are numerous projects in WikiEducator which are "nodes" in the network as the connect to other projects (both internal and external) to the WikiEducator project.
- WikiEducator is a "node" in the network as it connects, for instance to other projects in the free culture, projects supported by organizations in the formal education sector, governments etc.
At the same time WikiEducator comprises numerous "communities of practice", which in turn could be labeled as networks. WikiEducator shows numerous traits / Characteristics which would justifiably validate the notion of a community. The point being that being a network, doesn't negate the existence of a community.
So the interesting thing about networks, for me, if we assume that these networks are self organising systems -- what are the minimum requirements (rules for the nodes/switches) in the network for the system to work. What defines a "node" in the system ...