I find that I navigate in a variety of different tribes, each with it’s own unique characteristics. Some large, some small, and some in between. I feel a part of some tribes because of our common activities. I feel a part of others because of a common interest. And still others because of my proximity to the people in the tribe. Each has it’s own rules for admittance, dress codes, agreed upon language, and ways of thinking. But there are also commonalities that are important to all of the tribes – engagement with the tribe, a desire to support the tribe, and a willingness to interact with others in the tribe.
For many years I’ve attended conferences hosted by Educause, an organization for IT administrators in higher education. Talk about hanging out with my tribe…5000 IT administrator geeks all talking about our common experiences.
And then there is my soccer tribe … people with the same passionate interest in “the beautiful game”. When I first got interested in soccer, it was with a small tribe in my neighborhood. But now, I feel like I’m in a tribe of millions.
And thanks to my sons, I’m also deeply invested in my tribe of boy scouts. Gathering together to talk knots, backpacking, first aid, and a variety of other skills, we openly accept new members, but only if they are willing to work beside us to achieve our goals.
And now I’m venturing into a new tribe with my work in instructional and learning technologies. Learning how to walk the walk and talk the talk. I’ve found that within this larger tribe I have a special interest in big data in education, which is where I am headed with my Networked Learning Space (NLS). I’m hoping find my voice within this community, and bring others along with me.