“A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and interact regularly to learn how to do it better.”
Etienne Wenger
Welcome to the Iowa Communities of Practice and Innovation (CoPI) homepage. This site is the communications space for the AEA PD/K12 Online's CoPI. Below you will find our current goals, meeting notes, history, structure and additional information shared with the intent of informing you of our activities and accomplishments. For those wanting to know more about AEA K12 Online and its current offerings, please click here.

CoPI is committed to continuous improvement and learning together through a process of inquiry, problem-solving and reflection upon our practice. Through opportunities that build upon and extend our shared knowledge, the Communities of Practice and Innovation helps Iowa teachers gain the competencies they need to teach in high quality, effective online and blended learning environments.
Our Purpose:
  • To develop a statewide system for the development/procurement of high quality digital K12 content
  • To develop a system fo delivery of online/blended professional learning closely aligned to the K12 content
  • To leverage technology and collaborative learning methodologies to engage teachers in social authoring and social learning models
  • To serve as an advocate for quality online K12 content and professional learning by collaborating with other state and national organizations

An Overview of Communities of Practice and AEA K12 Online with Evan Abbey

Our Communities
Monthly Updates

Our Goals & Deliverables
Our District Advisory Council
Our Core Steering Committee Members
Our CoPI Structure for Social Learning and Social Authoring
Our Relationship with Etienne and Bev Wenger-Trayner
Communities of Practice: What Does the Literature Tell Us?
Leveraging Technology: Digital Habitats
Leveraging Collaboration in Iowa
Our History: The EdTech ARRA Grant
Our Surveys
Our Presentations

Additional sources of information on CoPs:
The IDEA Partnership: New Eyes Briefs:

Leopold Center and the Value Chain Partnerships: An Iowa-Based Network for Food and Agricultural Working Groups:

"Why is the Community of Practice framework so important? As communities of practice scholar Richard McDermott said in his article "Knowing in Community: 10 Critical Success Factors in Building Communities of Practice":
  • "Communities of practice present an odd irony. They have always been part of the informal structure of organizations. They are organic. They grow and thrive as their focus and dynamics engage community members. But to make them really valuable, inclusive and vibrant, they need to nurtured, cared for and legitimated. They need a very human touch."

    Richard McDermott, "Knowing in Community: 10 Critical Success Factors in Building Communities of Practice," IHRIM Journal, March 2000.