Facebook, Tele-Collaboration, and International Access to Technology in the Classroom

Facebook, Tele-Collaboration, and International Access to Technology in the Classroom

Karen Woodman (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Vasilia Kourtis-Kazoullis (University of the Aegean, Greece)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2616-2.ch011
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This chapter explores the results of a study using the well-known social networking site, Facebook, to investigate graduate education students' perceptions on the use of technologies in classrooms around the world. This study was part of a larger project exploring tele-collaboration and the use of online discussions involving graduate students in an online program based in Australia, and students in a graduate Education program at a regional university in Greece. Findings reveal many similarities between the situations and perceptions of the participants from the different countries. They also demonstrated that even when technologies were available in schools, participants identified a critical need for professional development to increase teachers' use of ICT. These findings are relevant to researchers, educators and policy development in terms of implementation of ICT and/or social networking in the language classroom.
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To date, there appears to have been little research on how teachers use Facebook, either privately or in educational contexts, and whether the characteristics and trends in Facebook use identified for students generalize to teachers. There has also not been much research on how Facebook itself can be used to collect data, based on naturalistic discussions of topics of interest to users, such as the use of technology by teachers. This chapter attempts to address these research gaps by exploring how Facebook discussions can facilitate discussions by teachers, who are also graduate students in Australia and Greece, about similarities and differences in access and use of technologies in their classrooms.

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