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Social media and teacher professional learning communities

journal contribution
posted on 09.05.2019 by Victoria A. Goodyear, Melissa Parker, Ashley Casey
Background: An extensive and international evidence base positions professional learning communities (PLCs) as an effective continued professional development (CPD) mechanism that can impact on teachers’ practices and, in turn, students’ learning. The landscape of teacher PLCs is continuously developing; notably through teachers’ uses of social media. Yet, there is limited robust evidence identifying the characteristics of social media PLCs that impact on teachers’ learning and practice. Purpose: This exploratory study examined the characteristics of a specific Twitter-based professional learning community - #pechat. The research questions were: (i) what is the nature of a Twitter-based professional learning community? and (ii) what characteristics of a Twitter-based professional learning community develop learning and practice? Methods: Data were generated from 901 tweets between 100 participants; and 18 in-depth semi-structured elicitation interviews with participants and moderators of the Twitter-based professional learning community. Data were analysed through a process of deliberation, and a relativist approach informed quality. Findings: Two themes are reported to explain the nature of the Twitter-based professional learning community and the different types of characteristics of #pechat that developed learning and practice. The first theme engagement shows how different participants of #pechat engaged with discussions and how moderators played a key role in facilitating discussions between participants. The second theme shared practices shows how discussions between participants of #pechat led to the development of new practices that some teachers were able to use to accomplish particular objectives in their physical education lessons. Conclusion: The analysis of the data provided evidence to suggest that #pechat is a PLC and is representative of an established group of practitioners. These characteristics should be considered in the design of future online professional development experiences. Facilitator or moderator training could support the development of social media based PLCs that subsequently and positively impact on teachers’ practices.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy

Volume

24

Issue

5

Pages

421-433

Citation

GOODYEAR, V.A., PARKER, M. and CASEY, A., 2019. Social media and teacher professional learning communities. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, doi:10.1080/17408989.2019.1617263.

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge) © Association for Physical Education

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Association for Physical Education

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy on 13 May 2019, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2019.1617263

Acceptance date

04/05/2019

Publication date

2019-05-13

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

1740-8989

eISSN

1742-5786

Language

en

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