Building an Enriched Community Learning Network
An enriched community learning network encourages participants to contribute as co-learners. Though the focus for some may be to develop skills such as digital literacy, others might require ways to connect with community leads to get referrals to community services and programs; others might seek information about training programs, learn first-hand about careers, or connect with mentors to learn how to set up a small business, or develop their language skills. Still others might want a way of communicating with other organizations.
Such a network, however, needs to have several key ingredients:
a flat organizational hierarchy, with individuals and employers and community leaders acting as equals to act synergistically towards building up mutual information sharing, referral networks, and learning opportunities.
- a core group of skills development facilitators who act as study circle facilitators, mentors and autonomous lifelong learners who work to foster one’s own and others’ contributions towards lifelong learning;
- a network of mutual support partnerships in place between individuals and various groups such as training providers, community groups, service agencies, civic leaders, private companies, and others
- a way to develop, build and maintain resource sharing and exchange of skills and knowledge among the various groups, in the forms of both an online learning network and a number of session facilitators led by different community organizations and institutions
- a number of lifelong learning hubs placed within several locations within the community that act as skills exchange hubs, idea incubators, and learning spaces.
- The Public Library is an example of a key community learning hub; for it to be a more integrated part of a sustainable, thriving community learning network, however, there would need to be more coordination and communication and sharing of resources.
- A community learning network can bring resources together and act as a bridge to create more discussions and information sharing among key community information providers, but it would require the efforts of all to contribute towards a distributed lifelong learning agenda that benefits everyone.
PRINCE RUPERT LIFELONG LEARNING PROJECT – Activities
- asks individuals who would like to share their knowledge, experience and respond to requests to provide information interviews, or to invite them to visit in person as a guest speaker and visit the study circle participants
- asks participants to interview and prepare recorded talks with community social service organizations about their services, events, and programs as part of a podcast
- asks community leaders, service organizations and employers to agree to access to information interviews and prepare talks, presentations, and commentary.