Chris Lott over at Ruminate shared some interesting thoughts about the value of community for learning:
I’m firmly convinced that creating a Community of Learners in the classroom is a good thing, regardless of curriculum or level. I believe that an active CoL and a constructivist classroom environment are one of the few things we can do in our classes that actually have a significant effect on the acquisition (or not) of critical thinking skills. I also believe that social software: blogs, wikis, discussion boards and the connections they make possible are the future of enhancing the collaborative classroom environment.
The problem is that it takes more than one class/quarter/semester to start becoming a proficient denizen of the socially networked community. One-off uses are not enough – just when students are starting to make the connections themselves, and just when they are starting to have their own personal AHA! moments, the plug gets pulled and they may not encounter such an educational environment again for another term or two (or ever).