CLMOOC Book Club in March 2019: Affinity Online


clmoocaffinity.001 flickr photo by teach.eagle shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

Here at CLMOOC and beyond, we often use the phrase “Affinity Space” to explain what it is that keep us connected and learning together. What is meant by affinity space?

An affinity space is a place – virtual or physical – where informal learning takes place. According to James Paul Gee, affinity spaces are locations where groups of people are drawn together because of a shared, strong interest or engagement in a common activity. — via Wikipedia

That’s us, right?

A new book edited by researcher Mimi Ito and others explores this idea of Affinity Space in interesting ways, and we offer up an open invite you to join us to read Affinity Online: How Connection and Shared Interest Fuel Learning. The collection of essays and explorations in the book build on the work that Ito and others did in an earlier text that many in CLMOOC and open learning networks have used to collectively think about Connected Learning. That book was called Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media.

This is where the acronym of HOMAGO came from. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) arrived not long afterwards. But no need to fear of missing out on this book chat. We’re aiming to use the month of March to do some slow-reading and slow-chatting about the chapters.

The Amazon site blurb for Affinity Online offers this teaser:

While providing a wealth of positive examples for how the online world provides new opportunities for learning, the book also examines the ways in which these communities still reproduce inequalities based on gender, race, and socioeconomic status. The book concludes with a set of concrete suggestions for how the positive learning opportunities offered by online communities could be made available to more young people, at school and at home. Affinity Online explores how online practices and networks bridge the divide between in-school and out-of-school learning, finding that online affinity networks are creating new spaces of opportunity for realizing the ideals of connected learning.

Sheri Edwards has crafted the infographic overview (see above) for how the CLMOOC Book Club might unfold (and she is kindly hosting the downloadable PDF version with live links). We invite you to use your own online spaces for writing — at blogs, or on Twitter, or in the CLMOOC Facebook space, or somewhere else.

Using the #CLMOOC hashtag will connect your reading insights with others, and hopefully, these connections will spark conversations across platforms. Watch out for a reminder each week of March. 

What do you say? Are you in?

Join us in March 2019.

The CLMOOC Book Club

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