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Web-Supported Communities for Teacher Professional Development: Five Cautions Article

, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, Canada ; , University of British Columbia, Canada

CITE Journal Volume 8, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)


This interpretive case study explores an attempt to add an online component-the On-line Literacy Project-to a successful face-to-face professional development community. Participants were six members of the Literacy Project, which was carried out in the school board of a western Canadian city. The principal theoretical framework informing the study was Lave and Wegner's (1991) community of practice. Analysis of data, collected over 7 months, showed that although participants acknowledged the potential of the Online Literacy Project the concept was poorly understood, received little support, and was not deemed relevant for a number of reasons, many of which are reported in the information and communication technology literature. However, a number of distinctive factors emerged in this study that serve as cautions for others interested in similar professional development endeavors.


Najafi, H. & Clarke, A. (2008). Web-Supported Communities for Teacher Professional Development: Five Cautions. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(3), 244-263. AACE.




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