Date of Award

Spring 4-2-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Yonke

Third Advisor

Dr. Theresa Christian

Abstract

Global similarity in education policies, with more adventurous and instructionally demanding proposals in education, is causing educational stakeholders to look outside of the school doors to adapt learning opportunities. To ease the strain of such demands, teachers increasingly turn to Twitter to connect to a global network of educators for meaningful and engaging conversations to share and solve a wide range of educational problems. Many authors have concluded that Twitter is an effective tool for professional learning, but scarce attention has been given to the use of Twitter for professional learning. Data from this study were analyzed to identify which role in the flow of communications, opinion leader or information broker, was most influential in an educator’s professional learning network. Furthermore, how opinion leaders and information brokers influence K-12 pedagogy was explored. In response to a survey sent out via Twitter, educators indicated that they interact with Twitter for professional learning. Of those with whom educators interact, opinion leaders have the largest influence on pedagogy, and primary strategies sought, as listed by respondents on the survey, pertain to an educator’s approach to teaching. Finally, one of the major findings is that professional learning is diverse; therefore, districts providing a one-way approach to professional learning are ineffectively teaching their educators.

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