Connect and Inspire: Online Communities of Practice in Education
This report is targeted to education leaders and stakeholders who are interested in exploring, starting, or strengthening online communities of practice for educators. It makes the case for broadening educators’ access to and participation in online communities of practice, which show strong potential to support professional learning and collaboration. To make this case, the report articulates the educational potential, offers practical guidance for online community sponsors and potential sponsors, and describes the U.S. Department of Education’s leadership role in supporting online communities.
The report is designed to help education stakeholders and practitioners understand, implement, and participate effectively in online communities in order to:
- Make professional learning a timely, relevant, and ongoing activity that continually improves practice
- Leverage technology to create career-long personal learning networks within and across schools, preservice and in-service educational institutions, and professional organizations
This report offers key educator stakeholders meaningful ways to contribute to this opportunity.
Additional briefs were developed to supplement this report with more detailed information on related topics. Two briefs are currently available:
- Online Communities for Educators: Guidelines for Planning
- Implementation Technology for Online Communities of Practice
- Resources and Tools for Evaluation of Online Communities of Practice
Other planned briefs include:
- Measuring the Success of an Online Community
- Online Communities: The State of Practice
- Community Research Questions & Methodologies