Voluntary Participation of K-12 Teachers in Informal Online Learning
Elizabeth Riddle, Alexandria City Public Schools/George Mason University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Atlanta, GA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-52-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
In order to understand how to design an online learning community for K-12 teachers and promote it as a useful, if not preferred, environment for teachers, it is essential to understand what motivates teachers to participate in one and how it influences their professional development. This research identifies why K-12 teachers voluntarily participate in an informal online professional development environment. It examines how teachers sustain their participation, how they believe their participation influences their professional growth and if their participation fosters "communities of practice" as defined in the literature on professional development. Results show that cultures of schools influence reasons for participation and the benefits gained. Additional results include the importance of incorporating a variety of participation tools in an online environment, the impact of empowering teachers to direct their professional development, and the emergence of a community of practice in an informal online learning environment.
Riddle, E. (2004). Voluntary Participation of K-12 Teachers in Informal Online Learning. In R. Ferdig, C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, N. Davis, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2004--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 665-668). Atlanta, GA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).