One of the research projects I was working on this summer was trying to answer this question: Could online PLNs be valuable for all teachers?
I’ve often heard teachers promote the use of social media based on their own personal experiences and not based on research. In answering this question, I wanted to see what the research showed as effective or not effective in online PLNs and the use of social media for teachers. Probably not surprising to teachers that frequently use social media was that teachers feel less isolated or lonely, develop a sense of camaraderie, and connect to valuable resources.
One thing I found very interesting was the type of tool used had an impact on the effectiveness. The studies I found primarily examined Twitter, Facebook, and Edmodo. Of these, Twitter and Facebook had positive results for developing an effective online PLN, whereas Edmodo didn’t appear to be very effective.
My paper is linked here so you can see the whole work. I still need to do some revisions to get it up to publication standards, but I welcome any feedback readers want to offer. Do you think online PLNs are valuable for all teachers?
Photo courtesy of F Delventhal