Facilitating-Online-Communities in short

Facilitating – from latin:  facilis – easy, ergo- to make it easier

see Greg’s blog post:

I believe we get caught in such a dilemma when we take Facilitating as an exclusive term. The dilemma is resolved once we go back to its basic definition as: “to make possible or easier” And this is where context plays a very important role, because in the context of ‘facilitating as making it possible or easier,” then we can be facilitating as Teachers when we make learning possible or easier, and we can be facilitating as Moderator when we make discussion or exchange of information possible/easier. In the same manner, we can facilitate as a Teacher when we make whatever we do (lectures, presentations, demonstrations, etc.) easier.

Online – common usage for using the internet, being connected through the internet.  Here connecting from computer to computer as opposed to face to face.

Community -from communis “common, public, general, shared by all or many,” (http://www.etymonline.com/)

Okay, time to move on.

5 Responses

  1. Ok. But I think that too many people interpret “easy” as meaning “convenient”, and what is convenient may not ultimately be the best path, qualitywise. I believe that people need lots of training for organizing online, and not just shortcuts and easy routes, but learning ways that are better, even though there is more effort involved. A short cut that goes through Hell is not as good as a longer path that avoids it.

  2. Good point, Artie.
    But isn’t it in the nature of words to be twisted into what we want them to say?
    Another question to your comment: is the training so much more different for online communities that f2f communities? What makes it different? The seemingly homogenity of a f2f group? The ability to read body language as opposed to the posible neccesity to be able to read between the lines? The amount of time available for the two different kinds of communities?

  3. But isn’t it in the nature of words to be twisted into what we want them to say?

    That is fair to say. It’s the only route we have if I are going to admit new ideas into the schematic of my thinking.

    Is the training so much more different for online communities that f2f communities?

    Yes and no.

    What makes it different?

    The seemingly homogeneity of a f2f group?

    People have a natural absorption rate. The time it takes to process and how much information is presented. Too many people means too much to handle. Traditionally the best organization is on the local level in small units. The small units add up to a statewide, national, or international community. All of the people do not need to be accessible to eachother at all times.

    The ability to read body language as opposed to the possible necessity to be able to read between the lines?

    The amount of time available for the two different kinds of communities?

    Time is a real issue. I would not approach time online any differently than I approach space offline. If I wanted to organize a global community offline, I would not attempt to bring as many people from around the world together in one space. I would treat space locally, organizing people locally in small groups. Seems that we could do that online. Organize people in small groups around local time zone neighborhoods.

  4. Hi illya,

    The amount of time available for the two different kinds of communities?

    I am doing some work on this whole issue in my blog. This is a major focal point for me now, so these posts are just a starter.

  5. Hi Artie,
    Thanks for taking the time to tackle my bombardment of questions🙂
    I was wondering what would happen with 80 or so particpants from all over the world on the same course, and it’s interesting to watch how people correspond and with whom. Your answer has got me thinking. I’d say that through the blogs and threads there are circles, and circles within circles, growing together, joining is some places, simply touching in others.

    It looks like most respond mainly to others who feel the same, whereas a few prefer to search out different points of view. I wonder if an online community is more successful if those within it have (or express- not quite the same thing) predominantly the same opinions, giving the semblance of homogenity.

    I don’t agree with you about the time zone issue, though. Although this may be a consideration for synchronous activity, the possiblities through asynchronous tools are good compensation. In one of the communities I am in (Learning with computers) the time zone isn’t an issue at all. However, for the course, in which some synchronous communication is desirable, this is certainly a good idea, and will probably happen anyway depending on the times arranged.

    Now I’m looking forward to further discussion on your blog!

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