Wednesday, November 18, 2009. presenter: Christopher D. Sessums, Ph.D. Post Doctoral Associate in Educational Technology School of Teaching and Learning College of Education | University of Florida Can Web 2.0 Save Teacher Professional Development?
areas of interest: learning sciences, learning organizations, and participatory media design
teacher professional development research: Much of what passes for TPD has been described as "fragmented, intellectually superficial" (Borko, 2004). On-going support for meaningful TPD is limited (Barnett, 2002).
teacher professional development research: Lack of day-to-day support and mentoring is related to the 50% attrition rate of new teachers w/in their first 5 years of practice (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 2003).
online teacher professional development research (Dede, et al., 2009): oTPD is a relatively nascent field of study. Which design features, tools, and strategies work best are still being analyzed. Evidence is mostly anecdotal with relatively few empirical studies.
my oTPD research examined (Sessums, 2009) : • what works • for action research coaches • spread throughout NE Florida • how digital media supported a PLC • how this approach can be effective.
my oTPD research implications for facilitators (Sessums, 2009) : • social artist an understanding of community-building & developing social connections • educative mentor sufficient knowledge of the practice itself to demonstrate credibility • community organization nurturing and strengthening connections • expressed expectations/ground rules
my oTPD research implications for facilitators: Good online community facilitation requires special skills by the facilitator to progress conversations from trivial surface level discussion and social exchange to deeper levels of engagement. (Ambrose 2001; Sherry,Tavalin & Billig 2001; Collison et al. 2000; Sessums, 2009).
my oTPD research implications for facilitators: Create a culture of collaboration – provide activities that require collaboration, sharing, & reflection .
my oTPD research implications for facilitators: Create activities that support dedication to the endeavor (commitment) and dedication to the comm(unity). Involve participants in project planning, defining team identity, goals, and processes.
oTPD facilitator challenges: • technical frustrations • size of community • lack of time due to competing priorities • participants feeling they have nothing to share • info overload after community absence • motivations • how closely should a facil. monitor individuals participation? • standing back and letting participants work through issues
oTPD research implications for community designers: Technical designs should reflect/support the community’s goals. E.g. Task-based, practice-based, knowledge-based, mash-ups (Riel & Polin, 2004)
my oTPD research take-aways (Sessums, 2009): New resource constraints and continuing economic re-organization provides the opportunity to transform TPD activities and processes using newer and more meaningful models.
my oTPD research take-aways (Sessums, 2009): Rethinking management techniques— Use Web 2.0 tools to allow all participants to serve as reservoirs of innovation, contribution, collaboration.
my oTPD research take-aways (Sessums, 2009): Design community activities around your practice. Use Web 2.0 tools to document and share what you’ve learned/accomplished.
my oTPD research take-aways (Dede, et al., 2009): design based research needed— • document and share what works; • for whom; • under what conditions; and • how & why this approach is effective.