For OPuS to work it is essential to have the participation of a community of educators passionate about their areas of interest and about blended learning.
OPuS is conceived as a community of virtual learning spaces where teachers and students from around the world -who share a passion for a subject- can meet and work together to further their understanding and knowledge, with the overarching goal of developing solutions that help make the world a better place.OPuS Communities of Practice (CoPs) will start with a teacher who is passionate about a subject. This teacher -in collaboration with the OPuS community- will develop a virtual learning space and Personal Learning Network (PLN) that will nurture and support their CoP. The elements of the virtual learning space will include a forum, a blog, a Twitter presence, and a wiki with an excellent and well-organized collection of references to the best online resources in their area of interest. The teacher's PLN should include other educators and professionals who share an interest in their subject. In addition to having a deep knowledge and passion for a subject, an OPuS teacher must demonstrate a sustained and solid commitment to helping students learn. OPuS teachers should be just as interested in helping kids grow as they are in teaching their subject. OPuS teachers embrace a progressive approach to education, which essentially means that their role is more of a guide than a dispenser of information. OPuS learning is driven by a student's interest. Motivation must be intrinsic. Students inhabit a community with fellow learners with whom they collaborate with respect and empathy, and with whom they work together to help others.
To get a sense of whether we are ready to raise the OPuS barn I'm asking those of you who might consider developing and mentoring a CoP to put a brief description of your CoP idea on the virtual unSchool open space board here: http://www.stixy.com/guest/102515 (Please note, in March 2011 CoP development moved here: http://opus1.wikispaces.com)
Putting an idea up on the board is not a commitment. It is just a sharing of ideas at this point. If a bunch of ideas get posted then that would be encouragement to move towards implementation. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board.