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Using ICT to increase professional connectedness for teachers in remote Australia
Connecting with other education professionals is important in supporting teacher learning. Teachers in remote locations in Australia experience a professional isolation due to geographic isolation that makes it difficult to engage in sustained collaborations with other teachers. In a national project ICT was used to assist these teachers by connecting them for the purposes of having reciprocal interactions and developing a sense of community, both of which facilitate professional connectedness. A five-phase Transformative Professional Learning Model supported by the use of ICT, in particular videoconferencing was implemented for teachers in remote locations across five different states of Australian. These teachers reported a sense of an expanded professional connection despite technical issues during the videoconferencing sessions used to support some phases of the model. To improve the sustainability of the connection of remotely-located teachers in the future it is recommended that the model be modified to include videoconference-based connection in each phase rather than just focusing on synchronous inter-teacher communication at the introductory and concluding phases of the professional learning.
(2010).Using ICT to increase professional connectedness for teachers in remote Australia. Australian Educational Computing 25(2),3-6