Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) in Education: The Contribution of Communities of Practice
This article discusses the available literature related to the contribution of communities of practice to professional development of teachers on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) integration in education. A systematic retrieval of literature was conducted in order to identify characteristics of communities of practice that contribute to effective teacher learning. Among other things, findings reveal that communities of practice have the potential in promoting teacher competence on ICT integration. Unlike the traditional workshops and seminars, teachers in community of practice learn about technology integration in teaching processes, pedagogy and instructional design, and curriculum (re)design. In terms of characteristics, the review established that communities of practice are effective if characterized by (i) school-based training of teachers about innovation blended with workshops or seminars and (ii) allows collaboration among teachers. It is concluded that professional development programs that consider communities of practice and characterized by school-based training, blended with workshops or seminars and allow virtual or physical collaboration among teachers have the potential in contributing to teacher learning on ICT integration in education.
Keywords: Collaborative Learning, Communities of Practice, Design Teams, Information & Communication Technology, Professional Development and Teacher Learning.