Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership

What Twitter will and won’t do for teacher professional communities



My outstanding research assistants (Jina Ro and Josh Littenberg-Tobias) and I have recently completed a journal manuscript relating to how educational scholars can think differently about technologies and their influence on how educators do their work. Our basic argument is it’s easy to think about technologies and their use in terms of technical issues, but it’s really the “people issues” that influence what a technology will or will not do. We use Twitter (and its potential role in developing PLNs) as a way to explore these issues.

It’s been submitted to Learning Landscapes, which is an open access, peer-reviewed publication. Here is a link to an early draft of the paper. If accepted and published, I’ll be sure to post the final product. The abstract to the paper is also below.

Some have begun to argue that Twitter and similar technologies will enhance teachers’ professional growth by allowing them to share practices, collaborate, and support each other in communities online. Matters, however, might not be so simple. It is not uncommon for technologies in education to fall short of the hopes around them. In this conceptual paper, argue that understanding why this occurs requires stronger theorizing about the relationships among technologies, practice, and communities of practice. In particular, we demonstrate how the concepts of materiality and sociomateriality can be applied toward understanding and researching teachers’ professional communities on Twitter.


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This entry was posted on February 4, 2013 by and tagged , .