The nature of teachers’ professional learning through a personal learning network: Individual, social and digitally connected

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Abstract

Ongoing professional development (PD) enables school teachers to manage rapidly changing social and educational conditions, especially the isolating impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, research shows that commonly provided one-size-fits-all models of PD are often ineffective and leave teachers feeling frustrated. Formally structured approaches often overlook self-directed digitally mediated learning, and the innovative practices that some teachers already engage in.

Until now the nature and benefits of professional learning though a personal learning network (PLN) – a system of digital connections between people and resources that an individual constructs using social technologies – has received limited attention. This paper reveals partial findings of a qualitative case study that explored the recent PLN experience of 13 teachers around the world. The five selected vignettes present different ways that teachers connect with peers to share their professional learning needs and interests. These vignettes illustrate the case study's key findings that the nature of teachers’ professional learning through PLNs is individual, social and digitally connected through social technologies. These findings are of significance to researchers, education policy makers, school administrators and practitioners to inform the development of flexible, innovative and remotely accessible approaches to professional learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number 100001
Number of pages12
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education:Leadership and Professional Development
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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