One Sentence Summary
This study investigates the tweets of 17 campus-level school administrators from the US and Canada to determine if they support the claim that Twitter helps administrators with professional learning.
This article investigates three research questions:
What are the perceived benefits of participating on Twitter?
What information do administrators share on Twitter?
To what extent (if any) does information from Twitter contribute to administrator practice?
Major Findings/Discussion Points
While participants reported that Twitter enhanced their growth as administrators, their tweets did not provide strong evidence of knowledge sharing about administrator work.
Perceived benefits of participating on Twitter
Social and professional benefits of Twitter
Participants benefited from the increased sense of community and belonging they experienced on Twitter, which helped them feel less socially isolated.
Twitter provided a place where participants felt comfortable voicing their issues and concerns and received help from colleagues.
Participants felt special because Twitter gave them a place to connect with renowned school leaders from around the world.
Twitter as professional development
Participants reported that Twitter allowed them to share ideas and engage with colleagues in a convenient and accessible way.
Twitter provided the participants with daily inspiration, new perspectives, and engaging reading.
The timeliness of the conversations on Twitter was an advantage over print media, providing them with learning opportunities every day.
Knowledge shared via Twitter
Participants shared both canonical knowledge (describing administrators’ practice) and non-canonical knowledge (the work of school administrators) via Twitter.
Canonical knowledge: Participants’ tweets were primarily about technology and technology use, while the least common topics included teaching, leadership, educational policy, and professional growth. While the study found that participants shared some formal knowledge related to their job, there were no tweets about management/operations, community engagement, supervision, or evaluation.
Non-canonical knowledge: Participants tweeted announcements, workplace vignettes, and shared real-life stories and interests rather than discussing school leadership.
Outcomes in schools
There were few changes to policy and practices as a result of Twitter. While Twitter had the potential for direct impact on policy and administrators’ practice, this kind of impact was rarely reported.
Cho, V. (2016). Administrators’ professional learning via Twitter: The dissonance between beliefs and actions. Journal of Educational Administration, 54(3), 340-356.