May 10 2008
It’s strange but it still amazes me today, how wonderfully giving and collaborative the web community is. Here are few of the recent examples in which the larger community helped:-
- Recently I have come across problems with using Woopra on OSX and thanks to Jeff McCord was able to sort out the not insubstantial problems with Java on OSX. Note all the problems are worth it when you come to using Woopra as it is a great tool, and with a little more development will challenge Google Analytics crown.
- The flash uploader HTTP error problem on the new WordPress 2.5 installation was another incredibly annoying problem, and one even more weird due to the uploader working on Mac OSX browsers but not through Windows. Again through searching the community I was able to find a solution, straight away rather than have to wait for a fix through a new version of WordPress itself.
- The above problem also led me to have to find out how to create a .htaccess file, which had always been a mysterious file that my shared server provider had hidden from me. The revelation that it was only a text file and I could add these to the roots of particular installations and folders to control any Apache server problems was great.
Why this post, about these problems being solved by communities – does it have any relation to education. Most definitely and although obvious the communities of practice on the web demonstrate the power of Wenger’s theories so well. But within a traditional educational context I have still striggled to show students how important this way of learning and helping others to learn is. However much my classes use weblogs, wikis and social network based tools like Magnify I am still unsure that I am getting this message across very well. I wonder if anyone else is having more success within secondary schools not at the use of communities of practice online but laying the foundations within your students of how these communities are very powerful learning systems?