The End of Isolation

In September, I was very proud to have my first contribution to a peer-reviewed journal published.  When a friend asked if I had publicized this on my blog, I paused, then realized that in the hubbub of the start of school, I had completely forgotten.

So anyway, here goes: in “The End of Isolation”, my co-authors (Eric Brunsell and Elizabeth Alderton, both of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh) and I explore how K-12 classroom teachers use Twitter as a means of professional networking (the research behind the article was the basis of Eric’s and my conversation at Educon 2.3 this past January).  More from the abstract:

The researchers surveyed and analyzed the public Twitter feeds of classroom teachers to determine the specific purposes for which teachers use Twitter. Study participants also completed surveys dealing with social networking. The K-12 educators in this study engaged in true dialogue, where evidence of actual conversation occurred in Twitter over 61% of the time. Additionally, over 82% of the time, the educators in this study chose to follow other educators or content experts related to their field of teaching so they were able to create a personal learning network meaningful to their professional needs. Analysis of data shows that a majority of tweets were educationally focused and were primarily in the categories of practice/philosophy, questions, and sharing of resources. Additional studies looking at how other online learning communities may be used as professional development venues would be beneficial and add to the knowledge base of online learning, professional development, and learning networks.

The article appeared in this past September’s issue of MERLOT’s Journal of Online Learning and Teaching; the full text of the article is available here for your review.  Finally, a huge THANK YOU to the participants in our survey; we truly could not have done this without you.


Alderton, E., Brunsell, E., & Bariexca, D.  (2011).  The end of isolation.  MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(3), 354-365.

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