Monday, 11 March 2013

A3: Student Voice Showcase: Professional Connection in the Digital Age: How Twitter can support teacher development


Becky Harcombe and Steve Wheeler
Plymouth University, UK

This paper examines the uses of Twitter to support the professional development of student teachers. It focuses on the research question: 'How Does Twitter Contribute to Student Teacher's Professional Learning and Development?' 104 student teachers completed a qualitative and quantitative questionnaire that explored participants' attitudes to Twitter as a tool for pedagogical development and its effects on professional collaboration. Results from the study suggest that socially constructed dialogue (Vygotsky, 1978) and learning through the formation of personal network connections (Siemens, 2004) are important precursors to successful student teacher professional development.

The findings also suggest that at a personal level, Twitter can enable student teachers to enhance and extend their understanding of the complexities of professional practice. Furthermore, findings of the study reveal that Twitter can facilitate the expansion of student teachers' personal repertoires of ideas and resources and can encourage them to reflect more critically upon pedagogical issues.



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