9.2 Affinity Spaces in Digital Places
What is an 'affinity space'? Let's explore the concept of Affinity Spaces: From Age of Mythology to Today's Schools presented by John Paul Gee by viewing the video below. Connect the concept of an affinity space to educational applications of Web 2.0 within digital teaching and learning. An affinity space is defined by the people who create the space. It is shaped by those creating the space around a particular interest. The parameters of an affinity space are outlined below.
Defining an Affinity Space - in physical and digital places
Affinity space is defined as "People who congregate around an interest, define the community interests and identify the spaces where members congregate". The parameters include
- People relate through their common interests; class, age, race not as important as expertise
- No segregation of skill or interest level; individuals exist on a continuum of expertise in specific areas or skills
- Anyone can contribute content for the whole community to use
- People are encouraged to become both specialists and generalists
- A distinction is made between individual knowledge and distributed knowledge
- People are encouraged to travel outside the site for more knowledge; multidisciplinary and interaction with other skills, ideas, areas are encouraged; dispersed knowledge
- Tacit knowledge is commonly accepted - e.g. language of the craft
- There are many different forms of participation - asking questions, answering questions, posting information, showing off work, content being generated is considered participation
- Status can be achieved in a number of different ways - join dates, post counts
- Leadership is based on being a helper and teacher - administrators, moderators, contributors, knowledge sharing
Affinity spaces in digital places - where to find one for your teaching and learning?
Nings - Educause, 7 things you should know about Ning
Connectivism and Affinity Spaces: Some Initial Thoughts, blog post by Eingang, July 27, 2011.