Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Michael Sammartano (2011) Social Networking as a Vehicle for Teacher Professional Development, New York Institute of Technology, Masters of Science in Instructional Technology

Social networking has the potential to transform education-related professional development by connecting teachers quickly and inexpensively, regardless of the physical distance or other barriers that may seperate them. Incorporating these digital tools into teachers learning can expand and improve existing professional relationships, while fostering an environment in which new ones can be built. This study explores the extent to which K-12 teachers currently utilize a variety of social media tools to further their professional learning. (..) Overall, the research revealed that few educators utilize social networking tools for professional reasons. Data showed that there is a desire amongst the respondents to incorporate more digital media into future professional development activities, though a significant population wanted to maintain at least some level of face-to-face interaction. Implications suggest that increased integration of social media as a vehicle for professional development will better meet the needs of many educators.

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