Networking relations of using ICT within a teacher community
Computers & Education Volume 51, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
The purpose of the present study was to examine the network structure of a teacher community in relation to their use of information and communication technology (ICT). The participants in the study were the 33 members of the teacher community of an upper comprehensive school from a suburban area of Helsinki, Finland. The methodology of the study was social network analysis. The participants were asked to assess their networking relations according to the following five dimensions: (1) providing technical advice regarding ICT, (2) providing pedagogical advice for using ICT, (3) collaboration regarding web-based learning, (4) acquiring new knowledge or ideas of web-based learning, and (5) informal interaction between the members of the community. The results indicated that there were a few central actors in the community who dominated technical and pedagogical knowledge exchange and to whom their colleagues actively turned when seeking advice. Two of the cognitively central actors represented hybrid expertise, a characteristic of which was to merge technological and pedagogical expertise in using ICT in education. These actors also tended to have their own external networking relations that helped them keep up their high level of competence. The participants’ ICT-related egocentric networks differed in size and density. There were some actors central in the network of informal interaction that were, simultaneously, peripheral in ICT-related networking activities. On the other hand, the central actors of ICT were not necessarily the socially central persons in the community. Four patterns of networking were identified in the analysis; The Counsellor offers advice actively without seeking information herself from colleagues; The Inquirer is an active seeker of ICT-related information capitalizing on her social relations; The Collaborator engages in collaborative efforts of web-based learning by using several media; and The Weakly Social prefers media rather than face-to-face contacts in his information seeking.
Ryymin, E., Palonen, T. & Hakkarainen, K. (2008). Networking relations of using ICT within a teacher community. Computers & Education, 51(3), 1264-1282. Elsevier Ltd.
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