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Pathways to collaboration changing the face of teacher professional learning and development

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Teacher Professional Learning and Development is changing and we need a new model that fosters collaboration and ownership of the learning. Communities of Practice, and especially Online Communities of Practice offer that solution - as long as they're well-designed and focused on engagement, motivation, collaboration and sustainability.

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Pathways to collaboration changing the face of teacher professional learning and development

  1. 1. Pathways to Collaboration Developing an Online Community of Practice Justine Hughes The Innovative E
  2. 2. ● Teacher ● Education Consultant ● Masters’ – 2015 ● PhD Candidate ● Global Education Conference - International Advisory Board member ● Social Media Manager ● Online Community Builder and Facilitator
  3. 3. How Did I Become Intrigued... ● Previous professional learning experiences ● Looking for ways to sustain learning, continue to create learning ● Have applied this to several age groups now - from younger students through to adults
  4. 4. What are Communities of Practice? "A group of people who share a passion for what they do, something they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better." Etienne Wenger
  5. 5. Etienne Wenger explains...
  6. 6. “Members of a community are informally bound by what they do together…” Defined by 3 dimensions: “What it is about…” “How it functions…” “What capability it has produced…” “...learning partnerships…” Wenger 1998
  7. 7. How do they differ from a traditional Professional Learning Community? (PLC or PLN) ● Can be solely online or a blend of online and face-to-face in real time ● Not reliant on a specific meeting time ● Anytime, anywhere learning, communication and support ● No one is an expert - everyone has expertise ● No definitive completion date – ongoing ● Ownership of learning ● Sustainability is built into the structure ● True collaboration and the creation of new learning and understandings
  8. 8. Online Communities of Practice ● A blend of online and face-to-face communication works best ● Designed to evolve ● All perspectives and experience valued ● Public and private discussion spaces ● Trust is key
  9. 9. ● Focused on value for learning and ownership of learning ● Familiarity and excitement of new and potential learning ● Rhythm for the community - activities, meetings, virtual conferences and discussion, Internet activity - a mixture of formal and informal activity
  10. 10. The Vital Role of Social Media ● Keep it simple and easy to access ● Decide on your platforms
  11. 11. Benefits ● Motivation ● Connection ● Engagement ● Support and encouragement ● Collaboration ● Shared learning ● Co-construction of knowledge ● Ownership of learning
  12. 12. The Te@chThought Journey ● February 2014: 13k members on the FB page ● Goals: Create an online community of practice using Etienne Wenger’s model : Increase the community to 15k by the end of 2014 (Currently standing at 19.5k) : Create a community where members are comfortable asking questions and sharing ideas and collaborate to share and create knowledge
  13. 13. Challenges ● Taking a FB page and attempting to create a community ● Global challenges - language, time zones, areas of interest / need
  14. 14. Initiatives to Date... ● Twitter Chat #ttchat ● Facebook - changing focus ● Te@chThought Online Community Wiki - includes a discussion forum ● Blogging Challenge
  15. 15. Coming up / Next phase.. ● October - Connected Educator Month ● Google Hangouts ● Skype ● Online Workshops built into the community and designed to kickstart thinking
  16. 16. Getting Started ● Know your target group and their common needs ● Be clear regarding your purpose ● Identify someone who is keen to be involved in running the community - preferably a student ● Allow for, and encourage, legitimate peripheral participation ● Create a safe, trusting learning environment to encourage participation ● ‘Any and all ideas count’
  17. 17. ● Focus on the learning ● Build collaboration - look for your participants with expertise, passion and get them involved ● Create leadership opportunities within the community ● Developing ownership of the community by its members is key to its success ● Identity development is vital
  18. 18. Maintaining Momentum ● Find ways to encourage participation without being overly prescriptive ● Relevancy is important ● Informal rather than formal ● Opportunities for face-to-face meetings where possible
  19. 19. A Final Thought... The way we learn is changing. Everyone has knowledge to share.
  20. 20. Thank you! Email: justine.hughes29@gmail.com Blog: http://k12motivation.blogspot.co.nz/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elearningbuzz14 Google+: google.com/+JustineHughes Twitter: @cossie29 DDI: (09)236 6790 Mob: 0276 369559