Networked learning communities have the potential to improve teacher practice more effectively than traditional professional development models by expanding the pool of ideas to draw upon and engaging participants in mutual problem solving (Little, 2005). The intent of this descriptive, quantitative study was to better understand how network factors and benefits relate to teaching innovation in a networked learning community, part of the Hawai'i Schools of the Future Initiative in Hawai'i.
Forty-one teachers from 10 schools took a customized 50 item Levels of Teaching Innovation Digital Age Survey to generate ratings in three key areas, Personal Computer Use, Current Instructional Practices, and Levels of Teaching Innovation. Existing data regarding type of professional learning community and intensity of professional development was also utilized. Results were analyzed descriptively and inferentially in order to better understand the nature of participation in the networked learning community as it relates to digital age teaching practices. The researcher concluded that: · Teachers with higher levels of network participation demonstrate higher fluency with digital tools and learner-based methodologies. · Teachers who collaborated more often with higher quality collaboration and established more new professional relationships demonstrate higher fluency with digital tools. · The type of professional learning community in place at the school level does not bear a relationship to levels of teaching innovation. · The intensity of professional development offerings in place at the school level does not bear a relationship to levels of teaching innovation. · Teachers with higher levels of teaching innovation place greater value on learning from experts outside the network and collaboration at individual schools in transforming their practice.
This study was limited as it studied only one network, it had a lower than expected response rate, and relied on a snapshot versus intervention lens. Recommendations for future studies include replicating the study in subsequent years of the project or in a similar network, further exploring the nature of professional relationships formed in the network, and focusing on the online Ning tool.
|Commitee:||Bossert, Phil, Goodale, Monica|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Teacher education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||21st century skills, Hawaii, Networked learning, Professional learning communities, Teaching innovation|
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