Advertisement

TechTrends

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 273–281 | Cite as

28 Days Later: Twitter Hashtags as “Just in Time” Teacher Professional Development

Original Paper

Abstract

Researchers have argued that Twitter has potential to support high-quality professional development (PD) that can respond to teachers’ questions and concerns just in time and “on the spot.” Yet, very little attention has been paid to instances where Twitter has made just-in-time learning possible. In this paper, we examine one instance of timely professional development on Twitter, in which 3,598 users used an educational hashtag—#educattentats—to create a temporary affinity space supporting French teachers preparing to discuss recent terrorist attacks with their students. We describe this just-in-time PD by focusing on participants and modes of participation, the spread of the hashtag in its first hours and the growth and eventual decline of the hashtag over the course of 28 days. The results of this study suggest that #educattentats served effectively as just-in-time professional development for teachers. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Keywords

Affinity spaces Professional development Social learning Social media Social networking sites Teacher learning Twitter 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Josh Rosenberg and Sarah Gretter for their contributions to and advice for our analysis.

References

  1. Anderson, S. (2012). A brief history of #edchat [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.web20classroom.org/2012/03/brief-history-of-edchat.html.
  2. Carpenter, J. (2015). Preservice teachers’ microblogging: professional development via Twitter. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 15, 209–234.Google Scholar
  3. Carpenter, J. P., & Krutka, D. G. (2014). How and why educators use Twitter: a survey of the field. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46, 414–434. doi: 10.1080/15391523.2014.925701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carpenter, J. P., & Krutka, D. G. (2015). Engagement through microblogging: educator professional development via Twitter. Professional Development in Education, 41, 707–728. doi: 10.1080/19415257.2014.939294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1995). Policies that support professional development in an era of reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 76, 597–604.Google Scholar
  6. Easton, L. B. (2008). From professional development to professional learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 89, 755–759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gao, F., & Li, L. (2016). Examining a one-hour synchronous chat in a microblogging-based professional development community. British Journal of Educational Technology. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12384.Google Scholar
  8. Gao, F., Luo, T., & Zhang, K. (2012). Tweeting for learning: a critical analysis of research on microblogging in education published in 2008–2011. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43, 783–801. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01357.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Greeno, J., Collins, A., & Resnick, L. (1996). Cognition and learning. In D. Berliner & R. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 15–46). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  11. Hawksey, M. (2014). Need a better Twitter Archiving Google Sheet? TAGS v6.0 is here! [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://mashe.hawksey.info/2014/10/need-a-better-twitter-archiving-google-sheet-tags-v6-0-is-here/.
  12. Jones, W. M., & Dexter, S. (2014). How teachers learn: the roles of formal, informal, and independent learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 62, 367–384. doi: 10.1007/s11423-014-9337-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33, 159–174. doi: 10.2307/2529310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lawless, K. A., & Pellegrino, J. W. (2007). Professional development in integrating technology into teaching and learning: knowns, unknowns, and ways to pursue better questions and answers. Review of Educational Research, 77, 575–614. doi: 10.3102/0034654307309921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lock, J. V. (2006). A new image: online communities to facilitate teacher professional development. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14, 663–678. doi: 10.1080/15405702.2014.929378.Google Scholar
  17. Mouza, C. (2002). Learning to teach with new technology. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 35, 272–289. doi: 10.1080/15391523.2002.10782386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Munzert, S., Rubba, C., Meißner, P., & Nyhuis, D. (2015). Automated data collection with R: A practical guide to web scraping and text mining. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Plair, S. K. (2008). Revamping professional development for technology integration and fluency. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues, and Ideas, 82, 70–74. doi: 10.3200/TCHS.82.2.70-74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Remler, D. K., & Van Ryzin, G. G. (2011). Research methods in practice: Strategies for description and causation. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  21. Rosenberg, J. M., Greenhalgh, S. P., Koehler, M. J., Akcaoglu, M., & Hamilton, E. (2016). An investigation of State Educational Twitter Hashtags (SETHs) as affinity spaces. E-Learning and Digital Media, 13, 24–44. doi: 10.1177/2042753016672351.
  22. Saldaña, J. (2015). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Snee, H., Hine, C., Morey, Y., Roberts, S., & Watson, H. (2016). Digital methods as mainstream methodology: An introduction. In H. Snee, C. Hine, Y. Morey, S. Roberts, & H. Watson (Eds.), Digital methods for social science: An interdisciplinary guide to research innovation (pp. 1–11). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  24. Visser, R. D., Evering, L. C., & Barrett, D. E. (2014). #TwitterforTeachers: the implications of Twitter as a self-directed professional development tool for K–12 teachers. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46, 396–413. doi: 10.1080/15391523.2014.925694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Welser, H. T., Smith, M., Fisher, D., & Gleave, E. (2008). Distilling digital traces: Computational social science approaches to studying the internet. In N. Fielding, R. M. Lee, & G. Blank (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of online research methods (pp. 116–141). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special EducationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special EducationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations