Online Communities of Practice as a Possible Model to Support the Development of a Portal for Science Teachers

Online Communities of Practice as a Possible Model to Support the Development of a Portal for Science Teachers

Anne Jelfs (Open University, UK), Jen Harvey (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland) and Ann Jones (Open University, UK)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-358-6.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter looks at how the ideas discussed in the literature on online communities and communities of practice have been applied to the development of two European ‘blended’ communities: communities with both online and face-to-face components. The chapter discusses the development and support of two communities of science teachers located in Ireland and Bulgaria as a way to support the development of an online portal. We discuss the communities in relation to recognised criteria and features that may be conducive to the success of small communities and specifically online communities and how these relate to the different stages of resource development. Socio-technical findings indicate the need to blend the face-to-face meetings with electronic communications. The role of a key respected teacher/educator was also a pivotal feature in gaining the trust and respect of other participants at an initial stage.

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