On the periphery but listening

Wikipedia notes that legitimate peripheral participation “describes how newcomers become experienced members” of a community of practice” (link).

Zygmunt Bauman (2001) (link) has explored the characteristics of a community. He suggests:

Words have meanings: some words, however, also have a ‘feel’. The word ‘community’ is one of them. It feels good: whatever the word ‘community’ may mean, it is good ‘to have a community’, ‘to be in a community’

I do like this view of community and its has one that has struck me forcefully over the last decade as I have engaged with communities of practice particularly in open courses, open educational resources and the emergence of the hashtag in Twitter (link).

I feel there is nothing wrong with this mix of community, peripherality and centrality. I do think each of us adapts to a role that moves us close to being a driver of a course or series of engagements … or moves us away to a comfortable space where we are monitoring and checking.

I do think this develops as we become more experienced in openness and we start to be selective about what and how we share. And as we relax.

In the last decade I have had two amounts of optimal engagement as direct participant (CCK08) and driver (Sport Informatics and Analytics). More recently, following but not contributing to conversations as a joyful peripheral participant in the #RLadies exchanges on Twitter (link).

I see this latter community as the exemplar of how we might share and where we might go with a continuum of engagement.

I am mindful that divers do have different needs to participants and I understand the desire to change participants’ perceptions of digital presence as a course or resource leader.

However, I do think that in the last decade we have been been provided with a social media that does extend Edward Ayres’s (2013) (link) conversations about digital scholarship, Martin Weller’s consideration of the digital scholar (link) and the changes in academic practice that result from the use of a new technology.

Photo Credit

Samuel Sianipar on Unsplash


My son, Sam, has just written a post about systems and networks (link). I found the post really interesting in a paternal sense and an epistemological sense.

The paternal part of me is delighted to read a blog post by Sam and to learn about his observations and reflections as a member of the #INF537 (link) Masters of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) online at Charles Sturt University.

The epistemological delight is in my commitment to self organising networks hinted at in Sam’s post. I have written a lot about networks (link) and have been thinking about these issues a great deal since the distributed, open course CCK08 (link), and becoming an accidental connectivist (link).

I am keen to persuade Sam privately and publicly to explore self organising networks (link) and to read more about Stephen Downes’ (link) and Alan Levine’s (link) work. I appreciate Sam’s particular working environment constraints (systemic) but am determined to explore the action possibilities he can address as a community driver and facilitate network flourishing within those constraints (link).

I sense that with energy anything is possible even in constrained contexts.

Photo Credit

The Maze (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)


Stephen Downes shared news of Citationsy (link) this morning.

He observed “This is a lovely product, and with the Firefox extension works seamlessly in my workflow”.

Cenk Özbakır (2017) provided some background to the development of Citationsy (link) as a “reference collection and bibliography creation tool for people who value simplicity, privacy, and speed”.

I think this is a great tool and I tried it immediately after receiving Stephen’s email newsletter. At the time I was looking at road racing in cycling. The three references I used were (link):

My Citationsy link enables me to create projects and share them in the style of an APA 5th Edition format. I have yet to look at the range of options I have with my projects. These include:

Photo Credit

Angelina Litvin on Unsplash