An affinity space
is any place (virtual or physical) that ties people together based on a mutually shared interest or endeavor. Certainly Classroom 2.0 is one such place, but I was wondering about other virtual "hang outs" enjoyed by CR 2.0 members, places perhaps that are not defined by professional interests and obligations but more by hobbies, passions, or guilty pleasures.
For me, it would have to be the "mommy" blogs that I read daily. I've got about four where I lurk and occasionally comment. I am really inspired by the way these women merge their varying interests in politics, civics, and, of course, technology, with the everyday challenge of parenting. I am even thinking of starting my own mommy blog as the birth of my second child is quickly approaching in mid- to late-June. It's time to start adding my voice to the conversation, and the lazy days of summer seem like a good time to undertake this project!
What is your favorite online affinity space?
My question is inspired by a book I recently finished reading, New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Classroom Learning
by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. It was assigned reading for a spring semester seminar on multiliteracies, and it has given me a lot to think about.
The authors' basic purpose is to shed light on the concept of "new literacies," and to invite educators into conversation about "how the new
might best be brought into a fruitful relationship with the already established
The last chapter is a recommendation or challenge of sorts to readers. Lankshear and Knobel think the first step toward merging conventional schooling and the world of new literacies (remix, blogs, podcasts, social networks, mobile technologies, and so on) is for educators to actively pursue firsthand experience with the social practices of digital "affinity spaces," a term borrowed from James Paul Gee
So, Classroom 2.0 community, where do you participate on the Web when you are not consumed with school, educational technology, and all that Web 2.0 goodness? And do your interactions and exchanges within digital affinity spaces intersect with and inform your daily classroom practices?
This question is cross-posted at ThinkTime
, where I have other posts on New Literacies
, and mashups
. Come by for a visit!