I'm doing a lot of thinking and writing in two languages at the moment. It takes me such a lot of time, not only because of the process of translation - and the reformulations by good friends - but also because it forces me think so much.
I have to think about the layout. Do you have separate pages for separate languages? Click here for the Portuguese version and here for the English one. That's how people usually do it. Does that mean I should have exact translations for everything I write? Or should I change the tone, language and even content depending on my understanding of the expectations, level of formality and perceptions of a Portuguese reader and an international/English-speaking one?
Then there is the language of learning. How do you translate language that hasn't yet become part of the discourse of another language? How do I translate to Portuguese expressions like "nurturing communities of practice", "negotiating meaning", "engaging in the community", "sense-making", "being accountable to...", "shaping and being shaped by tools"?
The language of communication and learning is still largely dominated by Shannon-Weaver and transmission models of communication, so in translating ideas into Portuguese I am conscious that I'm not looking for the "right translation" of words, but I'm looking for words that can bridge ideas and that can make sense to different ways of viewing communication and learning.
And as I write this post I notice I am referring to "I". But these thoughts are an ongoing conversation and exploration with Portuguese friends and colleagues who spend a lot of time helping me with the translations and to whom I am enormously grateful. Not just for the translation help, but for pushing me to articulate exactly what I mean and for sharing in this process of making sense of it in the Portuguese context.
"SDC has established a new website on Communities of Practice.
It provides concepts, examples, service offers and literature on CoPs and their potential in knowledge management. Also on the site you will find a flyer with the essentials on CoPs in four la
In Beth's slideshow she suggests that an organisation is ready - or not - for Web2.0 if they can deal with human messiness and be ready to share and work horizontally. Her comment to me is:
One other thing ... I've been thinking that maybe it isn't black and
white - yes or no - but hold for now, consider later. What do you think?
My previous post had already got me thinking how it's more complicated than yes or no. The truth is that organisations are full of people with different views, motivations, driving factors. And I wouldn't be who I am if I just accepted a straight Yes or No from an organisation!
What interests me are the people - usually a minority - who are struggling to make changes. And if we can mutually tap into each others' wisdom and practice, then sometimes we make things happen.
There is already subversive potential to Web2.0. Or rather, as it's more difficult to control, then it's going to take things in unpredictable directions. That is sure to produce conflicting emotions and reactions in different people who have different approaches to learning, managing, and with different aspirations and stakes in an organisation.
I see my own role as one of dancing between the different shades of Yes's and No's. And, where it stretches my learning, improving my dance steps so that we can dance better together in the future.
"Goplan is online collaboration and project management from the guys at Webreakstuff. There's no page yet, but there's a blog with information. And you can send us an email asking for one of the first application invites."
A not uncommon scenario for me is to be asked to roll out the recipe for building an online community of practice. What software/platform should we use? What are the steps? There is usually funding for a platform, and, increasingly, some funding for training and facilitation as an add on to the platform.
Dave Snowden talks of something similar in Natural numbers, networks and communities. "...in the early days" a portal was installed, a taxonomy created and you sat back and wondered how you could get people to codify their knowledge. Another rule was you rolled out the plans, templates and processes to build a community of practice and wondered how to motivate people to engage.
Snowden advises not to spend money on roll out programmes, but to use it on training super-users among the opinion leaders. In my own proposals I have called these people "champions" and budgeted for involving them in the choice of selecting tools and helping them to use them. In other words, look at what is already there and, as Wenger, White and Smith say in the Communities of Practice Tech report (soon to come out) - see how you can support and extend what they are already doing.
The problem with this process is that it can look messy, unstructured and not controlled. And it doesn't forefront a glitzy super site that will impress the funders. On the contrary this approach even suggests that simple tools could do the job.
you want to express the human voice of your organisation
you want to enable easy ways for people to share knowledge and information
open source thinking - willing to share ideas in progress and let others join in and help it
can deal with the messiness
you already have the basics covered.
you are obsessively controlling
if your organization is not ready for some changes in how you work
your audience is not online
everything must be vetted by central authority
your copy or campaign messaging is written in stone, not electricity
you aren't prepared to assist people in learning a new skill and the time to make it an organizational habit.
I can think of two more things I would add to No2.0: 1) you are expecting to spend most of your budget on tools and technology; 2) you haven't thought of a budget that takes you to events and processes beyond the launch of a platform.
My name is Bev Trayner and I live in Setúbal, Portugal. The focus of my research and practice is designing for learning in distributed communities. I am particularly interested in connecting people in international communities. Key words are: communities of practice, learning, meaning-making, inclusion, multiliteracies, Portugal, and Web2.0 technologies. Keeping a blog helps me navigate my way through different practices and world views. Phronesis includes pondering on the specifics and the universal. It follows on from my previous blog "Em duas línguas".
Eu sou Bev Trayner e moro em Setúbal, Portugal. O objecto da minha investigação e da minha prática é o design para aprendizagem nas “comunidades distribuídas” (virtuais). Estou particularmente interessada nas ligações entre pessoas nas comunidades internacionais. As palavras-chave são: comunidades de prática, aprendizagem, a produção de sentido, inclusão, multi-literacias, Portugal e as tecnologias de Web2.0
Escrevo este blog porque me ajuda a navegar entre diferentes práticas e diferentes visões do mundo. Phronesis, a contemplar o particular e o universal, vem no seguimento do meu blog "Em duas línguas."