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Research and Policy: Can Online Learning Communities Foster Professional Development?

Language Arts Volume 89, Number 4, ISSN 0360-9170


This column posits enhancing professional development through uses of digital tools to create professional learning communities (PLCs) designed to support collective inquiry and action research leading to schoolwide improvement. These digital tools include a social networking/discussion forum for teacher collaboration; teachers' individual personal learning networks (PLNs); students' online work collected in blogs, wikis, podcasts, or e-portfolios; and a school online curriculum repository containing lesson plans and units addressing standards that are linked together to create a central "learning commons." Implementing this "learning commons" requires initial pilot testing of the uses of these tools prior to full-scale implementation. Research supporting the use of digital tools for enhancing professional development is also cited. (Contains 1 figure.)


Beach, R. (2012). Research and Policy: Can Online Learning Communities Foster Professional Development?. Language Arts, 89(4), 256-262. Retrieved December 10, 2023 from .

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