Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Views on Community Development and Community Learning and Development.

Through my ongoing research, I have come to realize that I have been instinctively incorporating elements of community development and community learning and development work as part of my own consulting work. Below, you will find a few definitions for the aforementioned terms:

Community Development.

Community development is a process where community members come together to take collective action and to generate solutions to common problems.

Community development seeks to empower individuals and groups of people by providing them with the skills they need to affect change in their own communities.

Some of the aims of community development are as follows:

Become more responsible, create employment and economic opportunities, achieve social, economic, cultural and environmental goals.

Community Learning and Development.

Community learning and development is learning and social development work with individuals and groups in their communities using a range of formal and informal methods.

We define community-based learning as the broad set of teaching/learning strategies that enable youth and adults to learn what they want to learn from any segment of the community. By community, we are including the schools, formal and informal institutions in one's neighborhood, and the entire world through such resources as the internet.

As you can see from the above definition, the internet is now recognized as a learning and development tool. The amount of information available online is mind boggling. Sites such as Facebook and Google plus pages are excellent platforms through which learning can be delivered. With these two platforms, community learning and development initiatives have colossal reach. For example, I have a Facebook page for my School of The Remote Influencer concept. Through this page, I have students from countries as widespread as Africa and the USA. I have shared knowledge with these students while being separated by vast geographic distances. Google plus pages offer the ability to create video hang outs. Other tools can be used also: Skype, e-mail instant messaging, even traditional phones, mobile, cellular phones - which are commonly used by e-consultants and e-life coaches.

To conclude, the internet is a powerful tool for community development and for community learning and development initiatives.

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