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Learning Communities

Posted by Miranda on February 26, 2008

And more.. From the Thetford Academy Newsletter (via email)

SNAPSHOTS: In and around TA classrooms…

• Just before the break eighth-grade Computer Literacy students were
exploring the concept of “learning community” as it develops in
online formats, with classmates in the computer lab, and more
generally in the school at large. Here is a sampling of the
definitions they wrote, summarizing the idea in their own words:

“I feel that a learning community is a place where students come
together to the same conclusions after being together for some time.
They learn what the others think about a particular topic and combine
that with their own thinking.”

“:Learning Community (noun): a place where nobody is really in charge
of what people are learning, but instead are all learning together
and helping each other out.

“To me, a learning community is a great way to hold a class. It’s
different from all my other classes where the teacher is basically
helping you along the way. Here, we are given our assignments with
the general knowledge given, and we sky rocket from there. We help
each other when we have computer problems and we also help each other
out when we have questions. The good thing about a learning community
is that the kids are teaching kids and the kids are learning from
other kids, but in more of a casual way rather than being “proper”,

like the way you would approach a teacher. Personally, I like being
part of a learning community because it’s a great way to interact
with other kids in the class and maybe even start new friendships
from communicating in class. “

“A learning community is a place where everyone learns. The teacher
is more of an instructor, and the students can teach the instructor
things too.
I like being a part of a learning community because it
is a lot less stressful. It’s like we are a big group, all learning
and teaching from each other. Everyone in a learning community plays
an equal roll [sic] and respects each other, and I feel happy and
respected in a learning community.”

“A learning community is a place were you can learn and feel safe, so
you can get a good education and not be bullied. I like being part
of a learning community because I get to learn safely.”

“A learning community is an enviroment [sic] in which someone can
feel comfortable asking questions and discussing difficult topics
with their peers. At Thetford Academy, I am a part of a large
learning community. I like being part of such a community because it
provides a sense of comfort and makes me feel that I can accomplish
many things by myself and with my peers
.”

For more on electronic learning communities, these students and their
teacher recommend visiting the online resource
center at creatinglearningcommunities.org

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