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Research Reviews

Collegiality using Twitter

Posted on 22 Sep 2011 with 0 comments
Collaboration Personalising learning Social Media

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Teaching as a profession is focussed on learning: student learning, teacher learning and learning as a community. Teachers themselves can often feel isolated because of the very nature of the professional role of working with groups of learners separated from other groups. The professional support that teachers seek in order to enhance and improve their own learning and teaching very often comes from colleagues, professional friends, Principals and professional associations, as well as conferences and workshops although the last two of these would appear to be decreasing due to financial pressures. Teachers regularly seek to engage collegially to share their practices, to seek support and to find resources. The free online social networking cloud service Twitter may be a service that enables teachers to effectively and easily engage with their professional colleagues. In a fascinating and novel research article The End of Isolation published in the recent edition of MERLOT’s Journal of Online Teaching and Learning (JOLT) Alderton, Brunsell and Bariexca (2011) analyse the text, the ‘followers’ and ‘followings’ of ten experienced teachers who regularly use Twitter and seek their views about their experience using the microblogging service. The teachers came from mixed backgrounds by gender, levels of teaching assignment, subjects taught and length of experience. The purpose of the research was to ‘examine the specific ways in which educators use Twitter, and the impact of this use on their professional practice’ (p. 355).

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