Speaking On How To Build Great
Learning Communities — GDG Summit 2018

Maye Edwin
Jul 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Google’s Global GDG and Community Groups Leaders Summit 2018, Sunnyvale CA.

On 7th May 2018, I had an opportunity to speak at the Google’s Global GDG and Community Groups Summit on how to build great learning communities!

Global GDG Summit 2018 — Sunnyvale, Carlifonia

I have written this article to give a highlight of what my talk was all about and also share my take on community building to those who did’nt make to the summit or run developer communities across the globe powered by other organisations not necessarily Google.

In this article, I am going to highlight two important things; The steps you should follow to build a great learning community and the three modes of learning for an effective learning path of any community.

Communities are learning hubs. People get to join your communities to learn something new or rather get a platform to share amazing things they are building with their peers.

Each learning community is unique

And most of the attendees to these meetups you organize when asked of what they expect either during or just before the Meetups, they will always start with *I WANT TO…*

So how do you get started on this to help them scale up?

How do you get started helping them achieve these goals staged by these “I WANT TOs?” — How do you ensure that whatever content delivered at your events meet every attendee’s goals? It should not always be about good swag, good meals, good give-always, good parties;

What should you focus on as a community organizer?

Always focus on building a platform that your community members and anyone attending your meetups can get to share their skills, learn new and at the end of day get to connect with persons of same interest as them; and that way, they will get to keep the learning process ALIVE.

Taking charge…

When people get to learn, share and connect.

There is so much fun when people get together to learn. People create networks. Teams are born in those meetups you organize. And how do you build one effective learning community? Let’s now get started on how to build one.

1. Plan — Having a plan is essential for success.

Having a plan is essential for success. Before you begin, take the time to define the purpose of creating this learning community. For your case, you already have GDG guidelines that easily helps you get one.

Create a goals-based plan of action that you would like to see fulfilled, and develop the learning community with that plan in mind and of course, within a particular timeline.

The next thing would be — after you develop your objective, it’s time to discuss logistics. How often will the group meet? Will the group meet in person or via social media? And much more…

2. People — A community doesn’t work without people

A community doesn’t work without people, and the people who make up the learning community dictate how effective the learning community will be.

Taking the time to build relationships among your community members is crucial to their ability to team up and relate to each other and even work on projects together.

It’s your responsibility to understand your community needs. A good community leader ensures that the community’s needs are being fulfilled in a way that best fits their learning community.

3. Personalize — Each learning community is unique

Each learning community is unique, not only because of its goals or needs, but because of its members. Each person brings different learning styles, needs, strengths, and weaknesses to each meetup that your team organizes.

You need to understand what content is most prefered to them. You could ask them during a meetup of what they think the next agenda should be, for instance.

Learning communities need to ensure that everyone is collaborating and building upon each other’s ideas and skills.

The three modes of learning

It is important to note that in anything that you learn, there are three modes of learning; i.e Recognition, Construction and Community. Let’s go through each of the three modes of learning and cite cases where you could apply.

1. Recognition

It is about what you’re thinking or what you’re reading for instance. Is the content you are delivering to your attendees relevant?

2. Construction

What are you actually doing with what you’re studying? How applicable is it? How well is your community building on technologies they learn in those meetups you organize?

Is the content delivered relevant to the day-to-day developer tools your attendees might be interacting with?

3. Community

Who are you interacting with while learning? Who is facilitating your meetups? It is very important to engage the developer experts in your communities or countries for example.

Taking into action the three steps and modes of learning and applying into your communities should be able to help your community grow much bigger and more importantly as a great learning community!

Cheers and good luck!

Read more on my community organizer experience here and be sure follow me on twitter and tweet me as well!

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