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Educators in online and other technology-rich environments consistently ask, “How can I build community among the learners in my class?” They know learning is strengthened by community, but aren’t sure how to design a community in a learning environment where technology plays a significant role.

Ten Strategies for Building Community with Technology answers their question with proven strategies developed over the authors’ thirty years’ experience designing and teaching online classes. The ten strategies demonstrate that technology is not an impediment to community, but instead a tool for building more effective learning environments than are possible with traditional, face-to-face classrooms. Used the right way, technology can provide more instructional time, more opportunities for students to reflect, more chances to share and connect, and more access to feedback.

But these effective learning environments don’t happen by chance. This book gives you all the background, tactics, examples and advice you need to design successful learning communities with technology.

Ten Models for Building Learning Communities

  • Transmission/direct instruction
  • Nurturing
  • Guided discovery
  • Projects
  • Insight-generating
  • Training
  • Shared praxis
  • Apprenticeship
  • Case study
  • Inquiry

Table of Contents

Section I: Description of the 10 models proposed
Section II: Case studies and examples
Section III: Suggestions for how to design and implement a model’s learning experiences
Section IV: Questions to guide design

Each of the four sections is packed with helpful advice, structured guides and information, and diverse strategies and tactics for improving instructional designs and technology enabled learning experiences.

Michele Jacobsen, PhD, Associate Professor, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

Wisely working from the core belie that learning is centered upon relationships, community, and collaboration, this book extends in practical terms what research has always told us about the power of technology — technology only works in classrooms when it enhances the learning, not when it becomes the learning.

Jim Parsons, PhD, Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Anchoring proven and emerging software applications within appropriate theoretical frameworks and pedagogical practices, the authors provide a thoughtful structure to the text that positions practices within theories and conceptual ideas within actual work. The structure of the text is thoughtful and iterative, providing an almost encyclopedic coverage of terms, theories, and practices, while positioning the content within proven actual practice.

Susan Crichton, PhD, Director, Innovative Learning Centre; Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia

In 1916, John Dewey stated that community is the essence of education and if we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow. This book clearly illustrates how digital technologies can be used to effectively and efficiently foster this sense of community in a 21st century educational context.

Norman Vaughan, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Teaching and Learning, Mount Royal University

Bernie Potvin

Bernie Potvin, PhD, is an associate professor and chair of the Bachelor of Education program at Ambrose University College. His international experience includes implementing teacher development programs in Kenya, Guatemala, Indonesia, and, most recently, Afghanistan.

Nicki Rehn

Nicki Rehn, MEd, is an instructor in the Bachelor of Education program at Ambrose University College. Her current work includes instructional design and education consulting in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

David Peat

David Peat, PhD, is an associate professor of education at Ambrose University College. Active in the fields of education, rehabilitation, and health, Dr. Peat has worked all over the world in such places as Kuwait, Singapore, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Liberia, the Dominican Republic, and Afghanistan.