The concept of community itself is important. A community such as the one in which I work, is a group of interacting people who share an educational environment. The same applies to the NLE community in which we have been sharing knowledge about new learning environments interacting meaningfully. There are some conditions that a human community like ours has that affect the identity of the members and their degree of cohesiveness; aspects such as personality, personal beliefs, resources, preferences and needs, among others. In our NLE environment, we are a group of learners with a common purpose which is to learn more about new options we have as educators related to learning environments; we share knowledge and values using different ways such as virtual forums, wikis, blogs, and other technological tools guided by a community leader who takes us to reach the goals that have been set.
The community as a context for learning, whether physical or virtual is that in which its members share experiences meaningfully helping others to acquire more knowledge under the leadership of someone who, like in our NLE community, makes sure everyone participates and is given the chance to contribute and receive feedback. In our case, this happens within a virtual learning environment where we find a set of teaching and learning tools that help us enhance our students’ learning experience by including computers and the Internet in their learning process. Some components that we have been included in our NLE community are: curriculum mapping (the curriculum has been broken into sections or modules that can be assigned and assessed), student tracking, online support, electronic communication (e-mail, threaded discussions, chat, wiki and blog publishing), and Internet links to outside curriculum resources.
Collaborative work and the presence of coalescence are also important issues related to the role of community. Socializing, meeting people, playing around, sharing jokes, stories and just taking interest in each other are just a few examples. Communities foster their members to work together as we do in our NLE online community in which we have a sense of group. We build our team keeping in touch and working on projects together using different ways to communicate just the way other community groups such as sport teams, school groups and others do by using online forums for information and discussion, which help the groups together. Our NLE community is very important to all of us who share educational interests and issues for the benefit of our learners who form the nucleus of our online community.