LRA 2014 Presentation Slides

Teacher Networks and
Digital Pedagogies
How Network Contexts Shape Digital Integration
Elizabeth Homan
PhD, University of Michigan
Digital Learning Specialist, Boston Public Schools
Networks as Social Contexts
Latour (2007):
Networks as a challenge to the
notion of “social”
Brandt & Clinton (2003):
Networks as pulling together the
“global” and the “local”
Frank (1995), Zhao & Frank (2003):
Networks as an alternative to
institutional social constructs
Digital Integration and Teacher Networks
Digital Literacies….
“New technical stuff” and “new ethos stuff” mean new digital
literacy practices characterized by collaboration, co-authorship,
crowd-sourced knowledge and data (Lankshear & Knoebel, 2006;
No longer a question of “whether to,” address new literacy
practices, but “how to” (Hicks, 2013; NWP, 2010)
Teachers’ Collaborative Learning with Tech…
Teachers first need focused learning, then time to fiddle or play,
then time to collaborate with friends (Frank et. al., 2011; Zhao &
Frank, 2003)
Requests for professional development related to technology
usually sound something like…
“show us how to use the Chromebooks”
“Train our faculty how to use the Student Information System”
“We need some Google PD”
Research Questions
How do teachers’ social networks shape their
digital literacy learning and, by extension, their
pedagogical beliefs and practices?
As teachers develop digital practices, what factors
play a role in the development or change of
teachers’ existing pedagogies?
Borealis High School and Digital Tech
I think we can continue to improve our use of technology
across the board. […] We have pockets, pockets that are
really excelling and collaborating, and that sort of thing,
but they’re still pockets, it goes back to that time and
professional development.
- Principal Jameson
Facilitative and Integrative Digital Pedagogies
Facilitative Digital Practice:
Kristin’s Forums, Donna’s Reviews
[Kristin and Spruz]
I’ve seen our class discussions improve so
much as we’ve been doing the forums too, and I’ve
seen the forum discussions improve. This year, when I
added the exit strategy piece, versus
last year
when I didn’t do that.
[Donna and Quia]
Quia is probably the best new tool I've used this year and I really am
sold on it… I mean again the kids are using it
outside of my
room, it's not happening in here, but it's just one more tool for
them to get instant feedback, for me to instantly see okay
they're getting it, [or if] they're not.
Integrative Digital Practice:
Amanda’s Flip, Mary’s Project
[Mary and This I Wish to Change]
I've had some people who have started their own
Facebook group to promote whatever
material they have created. I have had some
people present somewhere else and then share a
link to something[…]. I have had some people that
have done grass-roots kind of work and
given flyers to their communities and spread
it out that way.
[Amanda and the Flipped Classroom]
And then that opens up a time for discussion about how you
learned from the video versus a real person. How do you ask
questions when it’s a video verses having a real person in front of you?
• Reconceive analog
tasks in digital
• Separate tech from
the space of the
• Use tech in the
interest of efficiency,
access, or ease.
Integrative Pedagogies
Facilitative Pedagogies
• Employ tech to
accomplish things that
are impossible (or at
least very difficult) in
• Incorporate tech as an
integral, nearly seamless,
component of
disciplinary content
• Use tech to engage
students in strategic
decision-making and
Tech Consultation Networks
and Teacher Practice
Integrative practices associated with:
• Extensive in- and out-of-school professional networks that
supported digital integration
• Institutional and social legitimization of digital knowledge
and expertise
• Engagement with digital technologies for a teacher’s own
purposes (such as developing non-school-related networks)
Teacher Networks and
Institutional Contexts
In the English Department, a few teachers shared
resources regularly, while other teachers felt intimidated
by their more digitally “savvy” colleagues.
Digital “savvyness” was legitimized by institutional
groupings like the “DigLit” PLC and breakout sessions in
which certain teachers were called upon to share their
Implications for Teacher Learning
How to develop PD that
builds teachers’ digital
Not sure, but here’s where I’m starting…
1. Start with where teachers are, what they want to
learn right now (not just in case)
2. Provide time for “focused play” with a creative
end product
3. Include research-based foundation as a critical
component of all teacher PD!
Future Research
• Larger-scale studies of teacher networks
and digital practices across contexts
• Design-Based Research working with
teachers and schools to develop digital
integration PD that meets their specific
Thank You!
• Brandt, D., & Clinton, K. (2002). Limits of the Local: Expanding Perspectives on Literacy as a Social
Practice. Journal of Literacy Research, 34(3), 337–56.
• Frank, K. A. (1995). Identifying cohesive subgroups. Social Networks, 17(1), 27–56.
• Frank, K. A., Zhao, Y., Penuel, W. R., Ellefson, N., & Porter, S. (2011). Focus, Fiddle, and Friends
Experiences that Transform Knowledge for the Implementation of Innovations. Sociology of
Education, 84(2), 137–156. doi:10.1177/0038040711401812
• Gee, J. P. (2000). Teenagers in New Times: A New Literacy Studies Perspective. Journal of
Adolescent &amp; Adult Literacy, 43(5), 412–420.
• Hicks, T. (2013). Crafting digital writing: composing texts across media and genres.
• Hicks, T., Turner, K. H., & Fink, L. S. (2013). No Longer a Luxury: Digital Literacy Can’t Wait. English
Journal, High School Edition, 102(6), 58–65.
• Hicks, T., Turner, K. H., & Stratton, J. (2013). Reimagining a writer’s process through digital
storytelling. LEARNing Landscapes, 6(2), 167–183.
• Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2011). New literacies. Berkshire, England ; New York: Open University
• Latour, B. (2007). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford
University Press, USA.
• VanKooten, C. L. (2014) Developing Meta-Awareness about Composition through New Media
• in the First-Year Writing Classroom. Dissertation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
• Zhao, Y., & Frank, K. A. (2003). Factors Affecting Technology Uses in Schools: An Ecological
Perspective. American Educational Research Journal, 40(4), 807–840.

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