How and why Physical Educators use Twitter

Stephen Harvey, Brendon Hyndman

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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Background/Purpose: To date, there have been limitedinvestigations into physical educators’ engagement inthe use of Twitter for professional development andlearning (PDL). This is despite physical educatorsrequiring more diverse PDL methods to address theirlearning challenges beyond a one-size-fits all approachwhich is quickly becoming outdated.Method: This presentation reports on data from arecent investigation into how and why physical educators use Twitter.After ethical approval, data werecollected through an online survey distributed viaTwitter over a one month period, which yielded 251respondents. The survey was designed using a formatfrom a previous study with educators (Carpenter &Krutka, 2014) and had quantitative and qualitativeitems. Analysis/Results: Responses to quantitative, closedendedquestions were used to support the findingsfrom the open-ended survey questions, which weregenerated through the Leximancer text mining program.Leximancer was uniquely utilized to innovativelydetect and display the level of relatedness between keywords to generate themes and concepts from the originaldata. Findings revealed the sample of 251 physicaleducators recruited consisted of a higher proportion ofmales with almost half of the sample between 35–-44 years old. The highest proportion of participantspossessed 11–20 years of teaching experience andmost were school-based physical educators who hadbeen using Twitter personally and professionally formore than three years. The main country of work andresidence was the US (n = 143), although respondentswere from a broad range of countries (N = 25). Fromthe text mining analysis, the top concepts from theoverall survey data relating to how and why physicaleducators use Twitter were based around ideas, use (e.g.usability of information received), resources, professionalinteraction, information sharing, practiceimprovement, teaching, and learning. Moreover, theTwitter platform was identified as being beneficial forprofessional collaboration within and beyond districts,advocating for physical education, developing confidencein technology, and generating and presentingideas.Conclusions: In conclusion, Twitter was described bythe physical educators as being an accessible, convenientform of PDL with much of the power relating to thewillingness of the physical education community toshare ideas, resources, and research to improve professionalpractice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
EventSHAPE America National Convention - Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Duration: 26 Mar 201828 Mar 2018


ConferenceSHAPE America National Convention
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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