Academic journal article Education Libraries (Online)

Online Professional Development through Virtual Learning Communities

Academic journal article Education Libraries (Online)

Online Professional Development through Virtual Learning Communities

Article excerpt

Hollins-Alexander, Dr. Sonja. (2013) Online Professional Development Through Virtual Learning Communities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4522-7666-3. Pbk $22.95

After 22 years of being a teacher, administrator and director, Dr. Sonja Hollins-Alexander has earned an acclaimed position of fame for her expertise in facilitating district wide professional development for over 13,000 staff members. In her new book, Dr. Hollins-Alexander uses her own experience as guidance for other districts to create a virtual professional development system of their own.

Dr. Hollins-Alexander introduces the Learner-Learner model which is "based on the tenet of Vygotsky's social constructivist theory (1978) and the constructs of andragogy (Knowles, 1980)." Another notable factor to this model is that it is a totally online concept. Her Learner-Learner model is structured for an easy creation of an interactive online community that enables low cost, district/school-wide learning opportunities. Educators that experience this learning strategy will see the results reflected in their classroom strategies as well as being more engaged and connected with their techsavvy students.

Hollins-Alexander created this virtual learning community to encourage teachers to learn via technology and develop the skills needed to teach technology. This method has been chronicled in her own district with successful outcomes. The book highlights how to engage educators in the Learner-Learner model. She gives wonderful examples that include a planning template to get started, examples of a thread discussion that displays educators learning from each other, and a guide for administrators to promote online professional development. …

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