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Exploring Teachers' Participation in an Online Professional Social Network

Kamalodeen, Vimala (2013) Exploring Teachers' Participation in an Online Professional Social Network. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis considers new ways of facilitating in-service teacher training and development in Trinidad and Tobago. ICT is linked by policy to National Development and teachers are urged to use available tools and technologies to enhance student learning. I argue that current models of training and professional development do not result in sustained and efficient use of some of these tools. In this study, a new model of teacher professional development is considered where a learning space is created and mediated through Web 2.0 tools and the Internet. In particular, the use of a social networking space is designed purposefully as a professional learning space for teachers. The design elements were selected to facilitate a dynamic learning environment catering to flexibility in teachers’ learning needs and wants. Through analysis of teacher interactions, the data shows how the social network supports the development of a professional identity while allowing teachers to seek support from one another and to share knowledge. Examination of teacher activity reveals how teachers chose to participate in this space and their preference for certain tools and topics. It further shows the inclination to seek knowledge rather than to share and their willingness to upgrade their skills using free online learning courselets. This study concludes that a social network can act as a professional learning space that enables teachers’ ongoing learning through real-time communication with peers, just-in- time support from mentors and coaches and opportunities to make their practice public.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr. Vimala Kamalodeen
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2013 10:25
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2013 10:25
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4284

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