How to Build a Community

Lessons learned when co-creating communities for educators and technologists: Learning Tech Labs and NT2t.

1. Place

Lesson: Start a community from the place where people who are interested in your cause or topic are.

  1. We launched Learning Tech Labs during Startup Weekend Education, a hackathon where educators build technology with entrepreneurs. It was a natural step to get all the attendees meeting once a month to discuss challenges in education.
  2. NT2t launched during an education chat on Twitter where ‘connected educators’ were already discussing how to make education better.

2. People as “Ambassadors”

Lesson: Involve people from the community early. They will promote your community to outside networks.

  1. With Learning Tech Labs we were ambassadors ourselves as we had networks in teacher communities, technology ecosystem, edtech investing industry. Additionally, we were extremely active on social media.
  2. With NT2t we launched it during the other education chat on Twitter and as co-organisers of a chat, we were ambassadors in our communities online already.

3. Plan

Lesson: Create a structure people can follow.

  1. Learning Tech Labs happens once a month, every 2nd Wednesday of the month for 2-3 hours.
  2. NT2t happens once a week, every Saturday, for one hour, during lunchtime.

4. Mission

Lesson: Promote the mission people care about. People follow higher ideals. Moreover, people share that they are part of the mission and invite others.

  1. Learning Tech Labs was created to foster a conversation between diverse groups of people that usually don’t talk to each other – technologists and educators. Through the community both groups were able to meet each other and share what they know.
  2. For educators community NT2t we had a mission to “bring one teacher to twitter” which meant that teachers will conquer their fear of technology and they will be more open to be creative in the classroom and thus make education better.

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