The importance of community

 

This well viewed video paints a pretty apocalyptic view of higher education.  While its from 2004 some of the commentary on viewing  suggest that much hasn’t changed.

I must admit that my formal education out of high school echoes some of the same sentiment.  Granted we didn’t have Facebook  in the “way back “but I did face uncertainty in the job market in my chosen profession of engineering.  I ended up in technical sales instead and haven’t regretted it.

My fellow classmate Pete recently posted about the impact of technology on learning: Relying on too much Technology.  In his post, he looks at both sides of the equation; pros and cons.  He  eventually suggests a balance in how welcoming you are to technology in the class. There is still great value in personal interactions to fostering engagement and developing community.

What really struck me in the video and Pete’s blog was the contrast.  We are now more connected than ever with oodles of social networking.  We have the knowledge of 1000 libraries in our back pocket (if that’s where you keep your iPhone). Technology and tools abound.  Has this really helped us feel more connected? part of a community?

Traditional bricks and mortar institutions and classroom spaces can aid in the development of community but are not its sole ingredients.    In a similar manner,  “friends”, shares and likes aren’t community either.

So what constitutes community?   The definitions of community are numerous and contextual.  Common to all,  is meaningful interactions that increase our understanding of each other.

 

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