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Paper presentation at 19th Annual Graduate Research Symposium at Saint Louis University, April 26, 2013. Educators' perceptions and reported behaviors associated with participation in informal, online professional development networks.



2. Computers are not being utilized as educationtools as expected.Bauer and Kenton (2005), Toward Technology Integration in the Schools: Why It Isnt Happening 3. Overriding sentiment:Its been 30 years since the advent of the personalcomputer and were still struggling to get teachersand administrators to integrate digitaltechnologies into their daily work in ways that aresubstantive and meaningful.~ Scott McLeod (2011) 4. PurposeInvestigate educators who use social media forinformal professional learning.What motivates them: to seek out and connect with other educators to advance their professional learning on their own time 5. Importance of the Researchfilling the gap in literature 6. Foundation of Conceptual Framework Paulo Freire learning is a social act anddialogue is the heart of education 7. Foundation of Conceptual Framework 8. Literature Review Adult Learning Theory Professional Development Personal Learning Network 9. Adult Learning Theories 10. Adult LearningConnectivismfocuses on theamplification oflearning,knowledge, andunderstandingthrough theextension of apersonal networkvia social media 11. Professional Development 12. Personal Learning Networks 13. PLN = friends educating each other revived 14. Typical Teacher Networkby Alec Couros 15. The Networked Teacher 16. Socially Networked Teacher 17. New Paradigm Suggested Self-directed Differentiated Ongoing Job embedded Flexible Encourages self-analysis and personalreflection 18. New Paradigm PLNs should be validated as a powerfulprofessional development component Not: Traditional vs Informal But a mix of:traditional & emerging, formal & informal 19. Research QuestionsQ1 What are educators perceptionsand reported behaviors associatedwith participation in informal, onlineprofessional development networks? 20. Research Sub-QuestionsQ1a motivationQ1b typesQ1c specific 21. Q2 Do educators perceptions andreported behaviors differ based on: current assignment years in education ageResearch Questions 22. MethodologyUnless researchers first generate an accuratedescription of an educational phenomenon as itexists, they lack a firm basis for explaining orchanging it.~ Gall, Gall & Borg 23. RespondentDemographicsAverage Age43 years-old 24. Key Descriptive Findings 25. FindingsFavorite social media application to usefor informal professional development: 26. Open-ended Themes - Why Twitter?Community & ConvenienceIt is the modern equivalent of the 18th centurycoffeehousea place teaming with ideas,opinions, research, discussion, collaboration,and bold vision. 27. Open-ended Themes Why Twitter?Informal Learning & SharingI have created a PLN that I feel meets my needsby providing resources, ideas, and challenges toimprove learning for my students. 28. Open-ended Themes Why Twitter?Professional ImprovementI have developed more as a professional sinceparticipating in #edchat than I did in the last fiveyears. 29. Open-ended Themes Why Twitter?Isolation Reduction*The largest difference is that I no longer feelalone in the classroom. I think it is hard forthose outside of education to realize howisolated teachers were before social media. 30. Findings Educators (99%) believed they should takepersonal responsibility for continuedprofessional growth and improvement. 31. FindingsHow well did each of the following prepare youto make effective use of technology forinstruction? 32. Key Comparative Findings 33. Administrators vs Classroom Teachers 34. Current Assignment - Position Administrators perceived that employers usedmore methods to support technologyintegration than classroom teachers. Administrators had a more positive view ofthe effectiveness of PD in educationaltechnology provided by school, district, orcampus than classroom teachers. 35. YesNo{ 36. As age increased: confidence using technology decreased PD activities made respondents feel moreprepared use of social media decreased 37. Other Relevant Findings 38. ? 39. Key Recommendations & Implications Researchers Educational leaders Teachers 40. Key Recommendations toFuture Researchers1. Examine successful programs currentlysupporting the use of, and giving credit toand recognizing educators for participationin informal, online professional developmentnetworks. 41. Key Recommendations toFuture Researchers2. Is there a correlation between participation ininformal, online professional development and:- Improved practice- Increased student learning- Increased technology integration- Increased confidence in tech integration andlesson planning- Increased feeling of belongingnessless isolation- Increased satisfaction with personal professionaldevelopment 42. Key Implications forEducation Leaders1. Make technology integration a priority.Focus on sound pedagogy and lessonplanning rather than just tools andapplication use. 43. 44. Key Implications forEducation Leaders2. Allow educators input regarding professionaldevelopment:- differentiated- self-directed- example unconference and edcamp models 45. Key Implications forEducation Leaders3. Provide professional development that isongoing and job embedded.4. Encourage (dont demand) participation ininformal professional development networksand support development of PLNs. 46. Key Implications forEducation Leaders5. Explore ways that would support, honor, andgive credit for time spent in informal, onlineprofessional development.6. Administrators need to lead by example bymodeling effective use of technologyforexample, in communicating with students,parents, and staff. 47. Implications forEducators1. Participate in informal, online professionaldevelopment by starting your own PLN builton your needs and passionsstart small, findmentors, be patient.1. Take responsibility for your own professionalgrowth and improvement. 48. Implications forEducators3. Advocate for the legitimacy and recognitionof time spent participating in informal, onlineprofessional development networks.4. Advocate for professional development that isself-directed, differentiated, ongoing, and jobembedded. 49. Implications forEducators5. Be bold and share what you learn in theseenvironments and encourage others to join inthe conversation.6. Model lifelong learning by staying as up todate as possible regarding technologyintegration. 50. The next best thing to being wise oneselfis to live in a circle of those who are.~ C. S. LewisThe next best thing to being wiseoneself is to live in a circle of thosewho are. ~ C. S. Lewis 51. 52. Find me at:Twitter: @debbiefucoBlog: The Educators CafEmail:


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