Last week I gave a brief presentation about communities of practice at the launch of Magic Whiteboards by INOV@R in Mangualde.
Later, over wine, cheese, and conversation one of the teachers was enthusiastic about the active group of teachers he was part of, and with whom he felt he learned so much. He also observed that the success of this group - which he could now call a community of practice - could be attributed to the "magic fingers" of the school president. These fingers subtly worked to connect people and put opportunities for them to meet in the way.
I thought that was a fantastic observation. And a great word. In my line of work we talk about facilitation. And now we have started talking about technology stewardship. How DRY!! Neither of those titles captures the magic and playful essence of community building. Neither do they say anything about the invisibleness of most of that work.
And then there is the problem of translation. In Portuguese I really dislike the word animador for facilitator. It gives the idea of an entertainer, or someone who is jumping up and down rousing people to respond. But facilitador doesn't sound good in Portuguese either - making thing easy for someone is not something you associate with learning.
And let's not even start talking about stewardship! How will I EVER translate that word, let alone the concept?
From now on I'm sticking to metaphors for the idea of facilitation .. magic fingers - dedos mágicos.
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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."