This paper reports on Information Technology (IT) secondary school educators in Victoria and their involvement in an online community of practice. It examined the social effects of the online mailing list technology on their participation and factors that influenced their collaboration with other colleagues. In mapping these elements, the motivations of educators and the effects on online communities of practice can be distilled and then used to build and sustain other architectures of participation. It was found that mailing list subscribers seem to trade a currency of support, thoughts, ideas and answers, which helped them in their day-to-day teaching. Online communities of practice provide a convenient way to keep up professional networks while continuing to stay abreast with subject specific knowledge and skills. The findings of this case study may be generalised to other educational mailing lists to guide designers and managers and inspire educators to join and ultimately benefit from these text based online environments.
Hanewald, Ria and Gesthuizen, Roland
"Sustainability in an Online Community of Practice: the Case Study of a Group of Secondary School Educators in Victoria,"
Australian Journal of Teacher Education:
5, Article 3.
Available at: http://ro.ecu.edu.au/ajte/vol34/iss5/3