PATTERNS OF E-MAIL USE IN A CONVERSATION-BASED TEACHER DEVELOPMENT GROUP
Andrew Topper, GVSU School of Education, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, ISBN 978-1-880094-37-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Telecommunications has been proposed as a way to address the problem of teacher isolation and provide opportunities for teacher professional development. The literature on teachers' use of telecommunication suggests that the medium may be ideal for supporting teacher learning and growth when collegiality in a school is insufficient or unavailable. This study investigated the nature of e-mail use in an established teacher inquiry group focusing on patterns of use and support for individual teacher growth. The results suggest that while telecommunications provides opportunities for teachers to engage in substantive discussions and collaborations with peers who are distant but share interests and curricular work, the actual uses of e-mail and other forms of electronic communication are constrained by a number of factors. These include access, time, shared goals, and interdependence. The results also suggest that even groups that meet the criteria suggested by researchers as essential for success do not guarantee successful use of e-mail for professional development.
Topper, A. (2000). PATTERNS OF E-MAIL USE IN A CONVERSATION-BASED TEACHER DEVELOPMENT GROUP. In D. Willis, J. Price & J. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2000--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1668-1671). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).