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Realising the potential of virtual environments: a challenge for Scottish teachers

Christie, D. and Wilson, Alastair (2009) Realising the potential of virtual environments: a challenge for Scottish teachers. In: Online Learning Communities and Teacher Professional Development: Methods for Improved Education Delivery. Information Science Reference, Hershey, PA, pp. 96-113. ISBN 978-1605667805

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Abstract

A national schools intranet is currently being developed in Scotland with universal access anticipated in late 2009. This new technology will provide teachers with access to a variety of tools with which to develop their teaching and learning. Drawing on the experience of the Applied Educational Research Scheme (AERS), a five year research programme funded to build research capacity in Scottish Education, this chapter seeks to explore the potential for teachers in Scotland to realise effective use of this new technology in their professional learning. The chapter uses current research literature on teacher professionalism and professional learning in Scotland to establish the context in which Scottish teachers are currently working. It then draws on three vignettes drawn from research within AERS to argue that the development of virtual environments to support professional learning in Scotland requires further, significant collaborative working between the practitioner, policy and research communities.