ERIC Number: EJ916516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
"This Site Is Blocked": K-12 Teachers and the Challenge of Accessing Peer-to-Peer Networks for Education
Ching, Cynthia Carter; Hursh, Anthony W.
E-Learning and Digital Media, v7 n4 p338-345 2010
This article examines a little-discussed phenomenon in the study of both peer-to-peer collaborative networks and teaching with technology: that of teachers caught in the middle between open public networks as teaching resources and highly restrictive school policies regarding internet content and online access. Based on their experiences as teacher-educators in graduate programs in educational technology and as facilitators of teacher professional development workshops on technology integration, the authors have collected numerous cases of teachers making use of different types of what are currently described as "peer-to-peer" networks. One goal of this article is to introduce a more nuanced framework for how to characterize the kinds of resources and networks that teachers can make use of, adapting current terminology to include "peer to peer," "peer to public," and "public to public." Examples of the advantages and challenges of each type are described, with accompanying cases of actual teachers and their experiences. A second and related goal is more philosophical. Based on their framework and cases, the authors argue that neither the prevailing utopian rhetoric of grassroots social networks, nor critical protests against internet surveillance and control, are functionally adequate to describe the dilemmas teachers face when they try to find online resources they can actually share with their students in the classroom. The authors want to move beyond this polarizing rhetoric and toward a more pragmatic discussion of possibilities, including strategies for training teachers in how to work within (or even "hack") their local and institutional constraints.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Technology Integration, Educational Technology, Social Networks, Internet, Peer Relationship, Professional Development, Computer Networks
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A