This is in response to ECI831 student's blog entry, http://trishshynkaruk.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/connect-mad-crazy-easy-with-sheryl-nussbaum-beach/#comment-14
And below was my response to her.
Interesting blog post. I'd like to comment on two things: CoPs and local network for local teachers.
Regarding CoPs, I think it would help to read Etienne Wenger's theory, see http://www.ewenger.com/, http://www.learning-theories.com/communities-of-practice-lave-and-wenger.html He emphasizes the role of social participation in a CoP. This is a major factor since without the social interaction there won't be much networking and therefore in the long run, the connection with other group members won't be as solid. It takes people to connect, yes, but the relationship must grow into something stronger that really bonds the group i.e. friendship, open/informal mentoring, etc. Webheads in Action is a solid CoP and proven through the years of continuous collaboration with TPD projects and class-related projects.
Secondly, I'm interested in your idea of establishing local network for local teachers. My PhD thesis focuses on local teachers' online TPD i.e. ementoring and how learning & change can take place in their real teaching contexts. It was a long and tedious process but I saw how it worked and what the shortcomings were. I'd like to see your idea grow into something that will work for the teachers in your community. The first thing that you need to do is to prepare a mindmap or an outline on how you intend to make this happen. You can do this, one step at a time.
Goodluck and keep me updated with your project.
aka motherchina (Twitter)