GETTING SOCIAL: A new report by edWeb.net examines how online networks can impact preservice and new teachers. While the report notes the benefits for this group of teachers, particularly the potential to provide resources and exposure to real world of teaching, it also points out various barriers and challenges to establishing these communities.
According to the researchers, teachers in preparation programs have “little motivation” for participating in online communities while in their programs, but have strong intent to begin once they graduate. Once they join these communities challenges can include a lack of time to participate, platform fatigue, lack of consistency in moderators, and need for quality control. The report suggests online communities could be improved through consistent privacy policies for teachers and administrators across networks. They also suggest developing systems for evaluating and rewarding participation.