A Community of Practice is a group of professionals who come together to learn and support one another in developing their practice with the aim of collaborative mentoring and relationship building. Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner (2015) identify that the concept of being a part of a Community of Practice offers learners the opportunity to engage in solving authentic problems and designing resources to support their practice. They are made up of people who are looking to deepen their understanding in a particular area and work collaboratively on similar problems. Lave and Wenger (Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner, 2015) consider a Community of Practice as community that acts as a living curriculum.
Playing IT Safe
Playing IT Safe has been developed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, the Australian Federal Police and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. With support from Telstra, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation are now delivering this Community of Practice to early childhood professionals across Australia. This Community of Practice is an early learning initiative which offers a suite of play-based activities that early childhood educators can use to teach young children about technologies, digital networks and online safety.
“Engaging in weekly online discussions with my community of practice and fortnightly online meetings with our learning community, I felt as if my knowledge was being reinforced, that I was able to share all this professional understanding I had, like never before. I was being challenged professionally, extending my knowledge of areas that I thought I knew as much as there was to know, free of judgement. As I created, developed and reflected upon my own action research project, I was able to see a shift in my thinking and actions. I suddenly felt empowered to impact change, and could see that changes were happening all around me.”
Aimee, ECT, Young Academics.