A networked learning community approach to sustain teacher ICT professional development
AbstractThis paper explores the process of collaboratively creating a networked learning community of practising teachers to support information and communication technology (ICT) professional development. The paper reports on one aspect of a continuing ARC funded Linkage project that is concerned with models of teacher ICT professional development that result in multiliterate classroom outcomes. The industry partner for the project is the Suncoast Cyberschools, a group of regional schools for whom being a ‘networked learning community’ is fundamental to their purpose. Data reported in this paper were gathered using archived posts to a threaded discussion forum and analysed qualitatively for evidence of community development, and quantitatively through a process of categorising posts to reflect levels of discussion (Järvelä & Häkkinen, 2002). The research provides a number of indicators that support a claim for the existence of community and some practical stages that are essential to the formation of an online learning community. The findings of this research inform both ICT professional development for practising teachers and the functioning of online learning communities.
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