Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning via Social Networks

Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning via Social Networks

Vanessa P. Dennen (Florida State University, USA) and Jennifer B. Myers (Florida State University, USA)
Release Date: June, 2012|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 364
ISBN13: 9781466618152|ISBN10: 1466618159|EISBN13: 9781466618169|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1815-2


People are increasingly engaged in profession-related learning via social networks supported by Web 2.0 tools. Some of these informal online learners are already actively engaged in a profession, whereas others are preparing to enter a profession. Their online interactions enhance their formal education and face-to-face professional experiences

Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning via Social Networks will examine how individuals and organizations are using Web 2.0 tools to create informal learning and professional development opportunities. Informal learning is learning which occurs outside of a formal educational context, typically driven by a personal question or an immediate need. In other instances, informal learning may occur as a by-product of other social interactions. In this context, we focus on informal learning that occurs through online social networks on a voluntary basis. Professional development, then, is defined as learning that will enhance one's job-related knowledge or career growth. This book is perfectly suited for academics and practitioners as it is written in a manner that is clearly accessible and includes implications for practice.

Topics Covered

  • Case studies of cognitive apprenticeship, mentoring, and knowledge brokering through online social networks.
  • Case studies of social network development
  • Empirical research on network interactions in professional development networks
  • Evaluations of online professional development networks
  • How norms and practices develop in professional development networks
  • How professional development networks are designed and developed
  • Pedagogical frameworks for informal online professional development
  • Social networking frameworks for informal online professional development
  • technologies used for professional development networks
  • Technology support for informal online professional development

Reviews and Testimonials

Overall this is a stimulating, detailed and well-researched volume that provides ideas for further discussion in the area of professional development and learning in an online environment utilizing Web 2.0 tools. I recommend this book as a worthwhile purchase for tertiary education libraries, particularly those with a teaching faculty.

– Kay Neville, TAFE New South Wales, Online Information Review, Vol. 37, No. 2

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Noriko Hara
Vanessa Paz Dennen, Jennifer B. Myers
Vanessa Paz Dennen, Jennifer B. Myers
Chapter 1
Indi M. Williams, Bolanie A. Olaniran
This chapter presents a fresh look at collaborative applications and their use in professional development and informal learning. The chapter... Sample PDF
Professional Development through Web 2.0 Collaborative Applications
Chapter 2
Kerry J. Burner
This chapter explores the issues that can arise when professionals employ Web 2.0 social networking technologies in service of their professional... Sample PDF
Web 2.0, the Individual, and the Organization: Privacy, Confidentiality, and Compliance
Chapter 3
Shuang Hao
The number of mobile devices and active users is growing. Mobile devices expand the reach of technology-mediated communication possibilities for... Sample PDF
Turn On Your Mobile Devices: Potential and Considerations of Informal Mobile Learning
Chapter 4
Joseph M. Terantino
This chapter discusses the adoption of activity theory (Engeström, 1987, 2001; Leont’ev, 1978, 1981) as a conceptual framework for analyzing... Sample PDF
An Activity Theoretical Approach to Examining Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning via Social Networks
Chapter 5
Xiaojun Chen, Jea H. Choi, Ji Hyun Yu
Recently, researchers in the instructional technology and learning sciences arenas have started to pay attention to the concept of Personal Learning... Sample PDF
Applying Social Network Analysis and Social Capital in Personal Learning Environments of Informal Learning
Chapter 6
Magdalena Bielenia-Grajewska
This chapter discusses the role of corporate online social networks in the process of informal learning. The first part of these studies offers some... Sample PDF
Linguistic Aspects of Informal Learning in Corporate Online Social Networks
Chapter 7
Maria Elena Corbeil, Joseph Rene Corbeil
Professionals who want to remain competitive in their fields are turning to Web 2.0 to learn the knowledge and skills they need in order to do their... Sample PDF
Creating Ongoing Online Support Communities through Social Networks to Promote Professional Learning
Chapter 8
Hanna Yakavenka
This chapter utilizes a peer learning community as an example to explore whether and how information exchange, learning, and knowledge creation... Sample PDF
Developing Professional Competencies through International Peer Learning Communities
Chapter 9
Kyle Christensen, Iris M. Saltiel
This chapter describes one university-based social network created for peer mentoring, knowledge brokering, and resource sharing for faculty and... Sample PDF
Use of Social Network Analysis to Create and Foster Interdisciplinary Research, Projects, and Grants among Faculty
Chapter 10
Mariliis Vahe, Khawaja Zain-Ul-Abdin, Yalin Kiliç Türel
Social media has become one of the most dominant information phenomena of our time. As its commercial, social, activist, and informational uses... Sample PDF
Social Media as a Learning Tool in Medical Education: A Situation Analysis
Chapter 11
Luke Rodesiler, Lauren Tripp
Given the potential of informal online learning via social networks for supporting the career-long professional growth of in-service teachers... Sample PDF
It’s All about Personal Connections: Pre-Service English Teachers’ Experiences Engaging in Networked Learning
Chapter 12
Aline Maria de Medeiros Rodrigues Reali, Regina Maria Simões Puccinelli Tancredi, Maria da Graça Nicoletti Mizukami
This chapter examines the results of an investigation carried out by the researchers from a Brazilian public institution and experienced teachers... Sample PDF
Online Mentoring as a Tool for Professional Development and Change of Novice and Experienced Teachers: A Brazilian Experience
Chapter 13
Jung Won Hur, Thomas Brush, Curt Bonk
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the findings of a research study analyzing knowledge and emotional sharing in a self-generated online... Sample PDF
An Analysis of Teacher Knowledge and Emotional Sharing in a Teacher Blog Community
Chapter 14
Vanessa Paz Dennen, Wenting Jiang
Social media provides professional organizations with a new means of distributing information and perhaps even facilitating learning among their... Sample PDF
Twitter-Based Knowledge Sharing in Professional Networks: The Organization Perspective
Chapter 15
Wayne A. Slabon, Randy L. Richards
In this chapter, the authors describe an initiative to create a cross-organization, knowledge building communal network built from the personal... Sample PDF
Story-Based Professional Development: Using a Conflict Management Wiki
Chapter 16
Richard Brandt, Rich Rice
Polymorphic innovations of Web 2.0 have both inspired and facilitated a near ubiquitous learning architecture centered on mobility, customization... Sample PDF
Dermatological Telemedicine Diagnoses and Andragogical Training Using Web 2.0 Mobile Medicine Video Conferencing
About the Contributors

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Vanessa P. Dennen is an Associate Professor of Instructional Systems at Florida State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. Her research investigates the nexus of cognitive, motivational, and social elements in computer-mediated communication, concentrating on two major issues: learner participation in online activities, and interactions, norm development, and informal learning within online communities of practice. Vanessa’s publications, which have been well cited, have appeared in Instructional Science; Distance Education; Computers in Human Behavior; The Handbook of Distance Education; The Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology; and The International Handbook of Collaborative Learning among others. Additionally, she recently co-edited (with Stefan Hrastinski) a special issue of The Internet and Higher Education on Social Media in Higher Education.
Jennifer B. Myers is the ASSIST Project Director and an instructional designer and consultant at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in South Carolina. Additionally, she is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University in the Instructional Systems program under the College of Education. Previously, Myers worked as a middle school teacher in North Carolina and earned her Master’s degree in Instructional Systems at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has designed and developed a number of instructional courses and materials for a variety of organizations and audiences in the K-12, higher education, and non-profit sectors and has taught graduate and undergraduate level courses in addition to her experiences teaching in K-12. She has presented her research at various professional conferences. Additionally, she is working on her dissertation examining self-regulated learning within an informal online community of practice. More broadly, her research interests surround informal learning, professional development, mentoring, self-regulated learning, social learning, knowledge brokering, and online communities of practice.