Tuesday, March 30
11:15-11:35 AM
Room 4

The Affordances of Informal Learning for Supporting Teachers ICT Professional Development

Full Paper (Live Presentation) ID: 58354
  1. aaa
    Emmanuel Abedi
    Griffith University
  2. aaa
    Sarah Prestridge
    Griffith University
  3. aaa
    David Geelan
    Griffith University

Abstract: This study investigated the reasons behind teachers’ preferences for informal learning to supporting information and communication technology (ICT) professional development. Although many researchers have studied the various ways teachers learn about technology integration along formal learning modes, much less is understood about teachers’ informal technology-related learning and its opportunities. With a focus on learning goals and perceptions of why teachers learn informally to integrate technology, data were collected from 20 teachers in Ghanaian primary and junior high schools using qualitative online telephone interviews and open-ended questionnaires. Through an interpretive and thematic analysis of data, findings revealed affordances including self-paced and continuous, practice-based, tailored learning and associated motivation, and control over learning as significant informal learning characteristics that support its importance as a valuable professional development mode for ICT integration. The study suggests that a more thorough understanding of informal learning opportunities could provide further insights that promote informal teacher learning of technology integration to supplement formal training pathways. The findings contribute to the limited knowledge of the validity and impact of informal learning and, in association with formal professional development for preparing teachers for ICT integration.

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