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Intel Teachers Engage

6 Posts authored by: intel-admin

Sustainability of Online Communities


The Teachers Engage Online Community is a community where you will come to learn, collaborate, share, grow and develop your skills so you can in turn directly impact positive change in the classroom.



Expert voices offer members new ideas and an opportunity to stay abreast of current research and trends. Spotlight on Naomi, fellow ST shares her personal experiences with online communities and what she believes are the necessary ingredients, a recipe if you will, for a successful online community.

Over time it is our hope that the Intel Education Online community will grow into a community based on the needs and direction provided by you, our community members. With the perfect amount of ingredients our community will certainly blossom.


Share your thoughts about Naomi’s comments.



How do you see this community sustaining itself and what can Intel do to maintain this community?

Growth of Online Communities 

One of the goals of The Intel Education Online community is to provide a place where you can come together to share interests and goals, and continue the sense of connectedness that is started at our annual ST Summits. The ability to reach out to the community and share frustrations left one senior training feeling supported because of the immediate responses and feedback she received. We hope you find the community to be of high-quality because of the members who are involved. Our Senior Trainers are some of the best educators on the planet!


When you are active in the community, you are engaged in exciting and compelling dialogue, collaboration, and teamwork that are important to your professional and personal growth. We hope that through your interactions and involvement in the community, your interest and commitment is sustained. Have you noticed the point values added to your profile through your interactions?  The community allows for ratings and point accumulation.  We are looking to you for your input as to how the point accumulation system might work for us.


How can the community use these points as an incentive or recognition for your contributions to the community?





Improve practice is the fifth and final key practice that will be highlighted as a continuation of the Cultivating an Online Community blog post.


Improve practice– Social networking sites have improved collaboration and teaching practices. Educators, like you, who use the Intel® Thinking Tools, have provided a way for students to collaborate with their peers in an online environment. Using the tool, Showing Evidence, students can review and give feedback to each other using the online interactive tool. Sites like and LinkedIn are making a diligent effort to help educators change their practice of educating kids in order to make positive impacts on student achievement.

The Teachers Engage Online Community strives to become a place where you will come to learn, collaborate, share, grow and develop your skills so you can in turn directly impact positive change in the classroom.


Of course, we all know that learning, discussion, and collaboration can happen without technology. Technology is a vehicle that can provide resources helping you make global connections which in turn can lead to a more in-depth understanding of content. Ways in which you can expand your knowledge are endless. Several examples include podcasts from experts, discussion groups and blogs, online courses, collaborative projects using wikis, and online communities. But, what makes an online community thrive? I’m sure you’re anxious to read on so stay tuned for the continuation of this blog coming later in January. The post will feature how to use online communities in your classroom highlighting several Gcasts with familiar names and faces within the Teachers Engage Online Community.


What do you believe are the key components to making an online community thrive?


Are Online Communities Rocking Your World? This blog post is a continuation of Part Two: Cultivating an Online Community


Collaborate with Peers and Form Relationships are the next two key practices that will be shared in this blog post.


Collaborate with Peers – Some educators have used social networking sites to collaborate with peers around the world, for example, our very own Dyane Smokorowski is using as a PLN (professional learning network) on a daily basis. Dyane is connected with over 125 technology integration teachers across the globe. Part of her connection is truly social (support, friendships, what's for dinner) but one of the primary focuses is learning from one another's expertise. Dyane shared, “It's a wonderful connection tool that I can interact 24 hours a day if I wish (we even plurk late Saturday night to play "Name that Tune" with someone's iTunes list).”


Delicious is another networking tool she uses often. She is currently linking teachers within her district in order to share online resources. “Each of us might find five to ten sites, but we are merged through delicious to create a rich set of resources all in one place.”

A project she has worked on using the Ning platform is "It's a Small World Project." Here she has encouraged the teams from USA, Lebanon, Pakistan, Australia, and Malaysia to network and learn from each other. Writing prompts were given at first to respond on the ning, and then teams were encouraged to branch away from "chatting with local friends" to connecting globally with the other teams. “It was great, we did have some policing issues where some students wrote about non-school related things, but they were minor. As facilitators of this site we were able to delete what was not appropriate for the project.”


Form RelationshipsMyspace, FaceBook, Friendster….do these ring a bell? Don’t have a loved one or a friend? Try Social networking sites with a new twist are popping up all over the web. Kids, adults, and grandparents alike are logging in and linking up to visit with friends and loved ones. During the year Intel® Teach Program hosts face-to-face trainings that foster connections and interactions with fellow educators. We hope those relationships and networks are fostered at a deeper more impacting level through the Teachers Engage Community, maintaining the momentum from the trainings.


In what ways are you collaborating with peers and other educators to develop relationships for sustainability?

Five key practices will help us form a community where your connectedness with others can contribute to the success of your profession:

  • Gain new knowledge
  • Exchange ideas
  • Collaborate with peers
  • Form relationships
  • Improve practices

We will focus on two key practices in each  blog post.


Gain new knowledge – A  monumental transition on how we access information has taken place: from print  encyclopedias, journals, and libraries to wikis, ebooks, and online  communities. We are inundated with information 24-7 coming at us so fast that  it causes eye strain and carpel tunnel., for example, delivers quick  reviews on books, music, and movies and tells you what else you might like  (with surprising accuracy). provides up to the minute information  about upcoming movie releases, trailers, movie times, box office hits, ticket  purchases and user comments. The newspaper that used to give us this information  now only seems useful for liner in a kitty litter box. Online communities are  becoming a place where we can instantly find information on the topics we care  about. Teachers Engage is your place to join discussions about books you read, training  tips you would like to share, and receive information on creating a 21st  century learning environment from the people who know best—educators like you!


Exchange ideas – A friend recently shared a  social networking site called I was amazed to find a multitude of  community sites where people are connecting to others all around the world  about anything and everything. A few of the gems I found:


  • Want to learn a foreign language?
  • Enthralled with American Idol David Archuleta?
  • Love adorable puppies creating all kinds of mischief? (the biggest and most active  social network for Labradoodle and Goldendoodle dog & puppy lovers—who  knew?)
  • Want to connect with your 9th grade boyfriend? Find your high  school community site. It is sure to exist.
    Well, you probably won’t find that  boyfriend on this site, but you will find other educators that care about the  same things you do.

Where do you  turn to gain new knowledge and exchange ideas?

Part One
Have you ever wondered what it  takes to cultivate an  online community? I recently paid a visit to community  sites online in  search of the perfect “tools” that would result in a community  full of  action and life. I related my thinking to that which is required for a   plant to sustain life: sun, food, water and a little tender loving care.   Like plants, communities have basic things  they need in order to stay  alive: creative minds, full of enthusiasm with a  desire to learn and  grow.


Online  communities are sprouting  up all over the Web, with many blossoming, but  some withering away. Online  communities run the gamut but a common “root”  in all communities is they bring  people together to exchange information  that is mutually beneficial.


The Intel® Education Online Community: Teachers Engage is a place where you can collaborate and communicate  with others who share the same interests  and background as you. You are invited  to share your expertise through video, discussions, blogs, and resources; in return, you will be able to tap  into the great minds of the best educators in the world.
There's more to come: A new segment of this blog will be posted  each week.  Stay tuned for our next segment on Cultivating an Online Community.


In what ways have online communities enhanced your educational practice?

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