Brosnan K (2005) Digital stories around the virtual camp fire: participation in a learning resource sharing network as a form of lecturer continuing professional development. International Conference on Researching Work and Learning RWL4, Sydney, Australia, 12.12.2005-14.12.2005. https://sites.google.com/site/rwl4proceedings/home
This paper examines the implications of an innovative, virtual, learning-resource sharing network, bringing together teaching practitioners in the United Kingdom. The network enables lecturers in both further education (vocational education and training) and higher education to share digital learning resources developed to support their own teaching requirements but which may also be of use to others. Drawing upon interview data and documentary evidence this paper explores the potential of such a network as an environment for lecturer continuing professional development. Within such a network considerable opportunities are available for lecturers to develop their teaching practice through processes of virtual dialogue. The potential value of the (virtual) dialogue surrounding the processes of resource sharing is examined by drawing upon aspects of social capital theory and practice theory. Social capital theory (Field, 2003) is used as a lens to examine the social dynamics of the resource sharing network and its support for CPD. Practice theory (Schatzki, 1996) (Reckwitz, 2002) is used to highlight how creating and sharing representations of practice can provide opportunities for lecturers to make explicit and develop aspects of their teaching practice. In exploring aspects of creating and sharing representations of practice the paper argues that such representations can offer ‘seed crystals' around which patterns of dialogue (Laszlo & Stainton Rogers, 2002) - offering informal but valuable professional development - can take shape . As these patterns of dialogue become reified (Sharpe et al., 2004) they can, in turn, become potentially valuable resources for lecturer development (Beattie, 2004).
Vocational-teachers; Further education; Educational technology; Academic staff; Professional development; Knowledge sharing