Freely sharing and facilitating community knowledge is part of my DNA as it for many colleagues in the nonprofit technology field. Over the years, I’ve participated in and started many nptech online sandboxes, small online learning cohorts and wiki projects to explore best practices in nonprofit technology hosted on many different platforms and in collaboration with many different organizations. I’m passionate about the power of peer learning communities – and how we can all lift up each by sharing our knowledge with one another.
There is an added benefit to learning communities. The Learning Pyramid or the Cone of Learning are well-known frameworks to trainers and while not based on research, anyone who has had to design and lead training or answer students questions – knows that the best form of learning retention is teaching others. If you combine that with a discussion group and practice by doing – learning soars. This is why I’m passionate about creating, facilitating, and participating in peer learning communities in the nonprofit technology field. They help deepen a field of practice.
Back in 1993, I first started working with nonprofits and the Internet as the Network Builder for ArtsWire, an online peer community of artists. I didn’t know a modem from a microwave, but I was responsible for providing technical support to over 1000 artists who were first getting online or building web pages. The way I learned was through working with peer group of people who were supporting nonprofits in their quest to build capacity and skills using the Internet to realize their missions. In those days, we used listservs and online discussion software, but platform matter. It was the free and open sharing of knowledge, insights, quick tips, and how-tos. I then modeled this support on the online community — and we quickly had a village of practitioners supporting one of another.
So, I invite you to join us on my Facebook page. Pull up chair, fill up that coffee cup, and join the discussion.