Creating an Online Virtual Staffroom for Teachers that Encourages Collaboration and Community

Date

2015-12-17

Authors

Burnham, Lorrie

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Abstract

More often than not professional development still occurs during one-day top-down instructed workshops on specific dates and times. It is often considered to be ineffective due to a knowledge driven approach rather than a situated learning experience. With access to Web 2.0 tools, like Google+ communities and Twitter, that easily allow for co-collaboration and co-creation, an online community of practice is a feasible option that can provide asynchronous and synchronous professional development. In this project, Google+ Communities were created to provide teachers within a school district a place to be actively involved in collaboration, sharing of ideas, information, resources and practices. With careful design and consideration this virtual space will satisfy a teacher’s need for extended professional development and provide a rich repository of shared resources. This in turn will result in a teacher’s improved practice and increased student achievement.

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Keywords

Community of Practice, Teacher Professional Development, Online, Educational Technology, Digital, Continuing professional learning, Professional Development Reform, Knowledge Sharing, Virtual professional development, Teacher Collaboration

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