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Making and Missing Connections: Exploring Twitter Chats as a Learning Tool in a Preservice Teacher Education Course

, California State University, Long Beach, United States

CITE Journal Volume 17, Number 4, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

Research on social media use in education indicates that network-based connections can enable powerful teacher learning opportunities. Using a connectivist theoretical framework (Siemens, 2005), this study focuses on secondary teacher candidates (TCs) who completed, archived, and reflected upon 1-hour Twitter chats (N = 39) to explore the promise and pitfalls in integrating optional Twitter chats as a professional learning and networking tool in a semester-long teacher education course. While many TCs reported that their Twitter chat experiences allowed them to bridge physical and experiential distance and benefit from educator networks, some TCs experienced miscues that left them feeling on the periphery of these chats, able to gather resources but not to establish a sense of connection. For most participating TCs, their Twitter chat experience changed their perspectives toward Twitter as a professional learning tool, opening the door to future exploration of Twitter as a tool for professional networking. The results of this study indicate the promise of integrating Twitter chats as a professional learning tool, but also demonstrate the importance of anticipating common miscues and explicitly addressing the nature, structure, and purpose of Twitter chats to strengthen opportunities for TCs to establish ongoing professional connections using this medium.

Citation

Hsieh, B. (2017). Making and Missing Connections: Exploring Twitter Chats as a Learning Tool in a Preservice Teacher Education Course. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 549-568. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved August 18, 2018 from .

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