May 2022 reading activity

A single chair beside a table with a large silver lamp overhead. White wall and curtain with green plants on table and floor.

Welcome to the TELedvisors shared reading activity for May!

Reading for TELedvisors is intended to be a monthly ‘slow chat’ where you can engage with your peers and discuss a current topic related to educational technology.

Each reading is intended to be not too long (avoid the TL;DR) and openly accessible and to support the ASCILITE community. We are keen to feature pieces from members. Have you recently published a book, book chapter, article or blog post? Tell us about it and we may feature it!

Wendy Taleo and Keith Heggart are your facilitators this month. Grab a brew, get comfy and join us in this reading.

[Reading time: 5 minutes]

This month’s reading: ‘Growing together: what makes a successful learning community?

Photo of blog post author Alexandra Mihai
Alexandra Mihai

Growing together is a great aim but can be hard to develop – especially in increasingly remote working arrangements. This week we are going to look at a post by the well-known educational technologist Alexandra Mihai discussing professional learning communities in her new post at Yale: Growing together: what makes a successful learning community?

Read the article at the direct link:

or read and annotate it together at the link:

Three provocations:

Creating a space where faculty can “come as they are”, where they can afford to be vulnerable, imperfect and share their experiences with peers.”

  1. Describe a situation where you have felt this kind of safe space in a learning community or education setting.

Arguably, the value of a learning community increases proportionately with the effort and commitment participants put into it. So does the perceived value.

  1. What are some hindrances to the development of professional learning communities (PLCs) that you’ve noticed in your own experience? Can you identify any ways that these hindrances were overcome?
  2. Mihai mentions a couple of ways to build PLCs – starting with the enthusiasts, bringing a friend. Can you think of other ways to build community? Have they been successful?

Three ways to share:

In the interests of building our community as a reading group, why not share your responses:

  1. Annotate together. Sign up for and then use this link to annotate the article:
  2. Go social: Twitter mostly but hey, you might have your own blog, be it in Mastodon, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or the next place!
  3. Use these tags: #TELedvisors #Maychat

Bonus reading

Tinnell, T., Ralston, P., Tretter, T., & Mills, M. (2019). Sustaining pedagogical change via faculty learning community. International Journal of STEM Education. 6:26. Open access at or

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