Blended Learning and Professional Development in the K-12 Sector

Blended Learning and Professional Development in the K-12 Sector

Suzanne Riverin (Regional e-Learning Contact - Barrie Region, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-296-1.ch010
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This chapter examines the use of blended learning in an online community which supported teacher professional development in the province of Ontario, Canada for ten years. The online network which was called The Education Network of Ontario/ Le Réseau éducatif de l’Ontario (ENO/REO) used a blend of tools and some face-to-face opportunities to support teacher professional development across the province. Teachers were encouraged to use the ENO/REO environment to join in discussions, create and maintain online projects and share research and curriculum resources. The chapter will focus on a study which examined the effect of long term participation in such a community in order to provide insight into the use of blended learning in online communities for professional development.
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There is general agreement that the term community of practice refers to groups who empower each other through their ongoing interactions regarding shared passions (or concerns) in order to potentially improve the workplace (Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002; Wenger & Snyder, 2001) and that teachers need to work together within communities of practice in order to improve student achievement (Schlager & Fusco, 2004; Speck & Knipe, 2001). However, creating opportunities for teachers to develop ongoing face-to-face communities of practice is difficult given the busy schedules of K-12 teachers so it is not surprising that emergent technological tools are being examined to provide blended learning situations where face-to-face and online opportunities for professional development are combined.

The definition of what constitutes blended learning is challenging (Stacey & Gerbic, 2007) with terms such as “hybrid, blended or sandwich learning” used interchangeably (Ausburn, 2004, p.328). In addition to the confusion over the terminology, blended approaches to learning and teaching have met with mixed reviews from both instructors and adult learners with concerns about workload and student engagement on the one hand (Welker & Berardino, 2005) and enthusiasm for the potential of blended learning on the other “the blend itself makes effective engagement in a range of situations possible” (Aspden & Helm, 2004, p.251). The term blended learning will be used in this chapter in two ways. Firstly, it will refer to a mix of face-to-face and technology enhanced engagement where participants meet face-to-face at some point and secondly, it will be used in relation to the combination of synchronous and asynchronous tools to communicate over time (Bonk, Olson, Wisher, & Orvis, 2002; Khine & Lourdusamy, 2003; Motteram, 2006; Vaughan & Garrison, 2006) and referred to in the paper as blended online learning.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robin Mason
Elizabeth Stacey, Philippa Gerbic
Chapter 1
Elizabeth Stacey, Philippa Gerbic
Blended learning is now part of the learning landscape in higher education, not just for campus-based courses but for courses designed for students... Sample PDF
Introduction to Blended Learning Practices
Chapter 2
Philippa Gerbic
Online discussions are now available as a pedagogical option in blended learning environments in universities. Much of the research to date has... Sample PDF
Including Online Discussions Within Campus-Based Students' Learning Environments
Chapter 3
Ruth Geer
This chapter describes an investigation of strategies for fostering higher order cognition in a blended learning environment. The exploration, which... Sample PDF
Strategies for Blended Approaches in Teacher Education
Chapter 4
Mary Simpson, Bill Anderson
A teacher education programme previously taught in distinct on-campus and distance forms was redesigned to take advantage of the affordances offered... Sample PDF
Redesigning Initial Teacher Education
Chapter 5
Ana A. Carvalho, Zdena Lustigova, Frantisek Lustig
This chapter describes two European projects that respond to blended learning by integrating innovative technologies into blended learning... Sample PDF
Integrating New Technologies into Blended Learning Environments
Chapter 6
Guglielmo Trentin, Steve Wheeler
This chapter provides a further two European perspectives on blended learning. The first section is an overview of the ways in which the concept of... Sample PDF
Teacher and Student Responses to Blended Environments
Chapter 7
Peter J. Smith, Elizabeth Stacey, Tak Shing Ha
The majority of research and literature in collaborative learning online has been focussed on groups of students organised into units of study by an... Sample PDF
Blending Collaborative Online Learning with Workplace and Community Contexts
Chapter 8
Terrie Lynn Thompson, Heather Kanuka
The growing need for professional development to help university instructors with the adoption of online teaching is being propelled from several... Sample PDF
Establishing Communities of Practice for Effective and Sustainable Professional Development for Blended Learning
Chapter 9
Julie Mackey
Blended learning is examined via the experiences of teachers participating in qualification-bearing online professional development courses while... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning and Real Communities: Online Professional Development for Teachers
Chapter 10
Suzanne Riverin
This chapter examines the use of blended learning in an online community which supported teacher professional development in the province of... Sample PDF
Blended Learning and Professional Development in the K-12 Sector
Chapter 11
Faye Wiesenberg, Elizabeth Stacey
This study explores the similarities and differences between Canadian and Australian university teachers’ face-to-face and online teaching... Sample PDF
Blended Learning and Teaching Philosophies: Implications for Practice
Chapter 12
Gayani Samarawickrema
This chapter focuses on the factors relating to adopting blended learning by teaching academics and the associated social world around technology... Sample PDF
Blended Learning and the New Pressures on the Academy: Individual, Political, and Policy Driven Motivators for Adoption
Chapter 13
Gail Wilson
This chapter draws on a collective case study of six faculty members working in ICT-enhanced blended learning environments at a large regional... Sample PDF
Case Studies of ICT-Enhanced Blended Learning and Implications for Professional Development
Chapter 14
Cathy Gunn, Adam Blake
An accredited course in Academic Practice aligns with university and national strategic goals related to teaching and learning enhancement within a... Sample PDF
Blending Technology into an Academic Practice Qualification for University Teachers
Chapter 15
M. Brooke Robertshaw, Heather Leary, Andrew Walker, Kristy Bloxham, Mimi Recker
For teachers in the 21st Century it has become critical that they develop the skills to be able to teach in a world that is being transformed by... Sample PDF
Reciprocal Mentoring "In The Wild": A Retrospective, Comparative Case Study of ICT Teacher Professional Development
Chapter 16
Conclusion  (pages 298-311)
Philippa Gerbic, Elizabeth Stacey
The conclusion draws together the main themes identified under the sections of the book with a synthesis of the recommendations presented by the... Sample PDF
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