Oct 22, 1996
Dec 31, 2000
Aim: To develop the design proposition for online communities of practice to support the continuing professional development of teachers.
Reflection: TeacherNet UK allowed me to consolidate and apply my design ideas about a comprehensive, national & professional online community. This included the establishment of professional online values, the notion of a passport for professional identity and a profiling mechanism to enable teachers to claim their competencies and develop a portfolio of evidence. It was a participant action research as I took the role of designer, developer and company director.
Contribution: In TeacherNet UK, I co-designed and developed the organisation itself, designed, developed and maintained the initial website, made many conference presentations and acted as one of six directors of the company. I exercised national and European thought leadership to establish notions of informal professional development online. My part: 25% (with Marilyn Leask, Norbert Pachler, Darren Leafe, Kryss Durling and Keith Byrom)
Originality, impact and importance: TeacherNetUK was inspired by the Australian OZTeacherNet, but proposed original think around continuing professional development for teachers and self-profiling of teachers in order to match content to their interests. Although it did not become a mass-movement, it enjoyed a considerable membership for a time and was in demand by UK government and industry for consultancy, culminating in the government creating its own TeacherNet service with the help of members of the team.TeacherNet (UK) was established in 1996, following consultation with and support from DfEE, British Council, NCET (then BECTA), TTA, OFSTED, private sector, Scottish Office, professional associations teachers and teacher educators.
TeacherNet (UK) established philosophy, principles and practice underpinning a national web site centred on teachers interests and professional development. It explored many avenues for developing, financing, managing and sustaining a service whilst maintaining independence from government and the private sector in order to ensure effective change with teachers by winning their confidence. As a result it formed a not-for-profit company named TeacherNet to form a charity, run seminars and conferences, work with innovative practitioners to publish in books and journals, advise DfEE and the General Teaching Council and others. It also explored the possibility with companies such as BESA, ICT companies and publishers and others to develop teacher-centred e-commerce solutions using profiling. TeacherNet (UK) had a paid membership composed of a relatively small number of teachers.
(Words: 430 )