IT Opportunities for Teacher Training and Support: An Action Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Greece

IT Opportunities for Teacher Training and Support: An Action Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Greece

Antonios Kokkonos, Maria Pavlis Korres
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7184-2.ch011
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The evolution in the field of internet technologies and the spectacular acceptance of the world wide web have shaped a new framework, not only for teachers' training but also for their distant support. This study provides insights into the utilization of Microsoft Teams digital collaboration and communication environment to improve the ways teachers are trained and supported by educational work coordinators (EWCs), through an action research conducted in Peloponnese Regional Educational Planning Center, Greece. Research results reveal that Microsoft Teams can contribute to the improvement of teachers' training and support in many ways, considering how successfully it has been utilized to improve the ways teachers are trained and supported by EWCs since the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, however, policy makers and education officials should take specific steps in order to assist EWCs in utilizing Microsoft Teams for teachers' training and educational work support.
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Theoretical Background

Important issues regarding the consideration of advanced internet technologies as learning technologies - including the ideas that: a) learning can be achieved without the need of face-to-face contact between teachers and learners, b) each learner can learn by following their own learning path and c) a large number of learners can be trained independently and through differentiated time scheduling - have been exhaustively discussed, tested and confirmed in practice in the field of distance education for a long time (Horton, 2001; Horton & Horton, 2003).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teachers’ Distance Training and Support: A training and support process in which teachers and their trainers -for most of the process- are not in the same room. The fact that trainees are not on the same premises as teachers is a core issue, not only due to the physical distance created between trainers and trainees, but also because of its strong impact on interpersonal interactions and the results of the entire educational process.

Advanced Internet Technologies: Digital technologies that use a system of interconnected computer networks to form a global communication and information exchange network.

Microsoft Teams: A digital hub that provides a unified communication, interaction, collaboration and support workspace and is accessible through the worldwide web.

Educational Action Research: A research design that enables members of a school community or an educational organization to approach and investigate their practices regarding a specific educational issue or problem from an inner perspective, following a process of reflective communication and collaborative action.

Electronic Learning: Is the learning for the individual aspects of which -achievement, extension, support, management, and assessment-interconnected computer systems (via internet, intranets, or other types of networks) that provide appropriately designed learning experiences to individual learners or group of learners, play a major role.

Digital Collaboration and Communication Environment: A digital environment that integrates a set of communication and collaboration tools, services and applications that utilize advanced internet technologies in a flexible and also efficient way with a coherent workspace and is accessible through worldwide web.

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