Researching blended learning practices for teachers' professional learning
Since the advent of information and communication technologies (ICT) that link people, especially via the internet, the capability of communities forming through virtual networking has been enthusiastically predicted and pursued while research into online communities for education and for professional learning has produced studies advocating the power of online communities. Most of these studies suggest that such communities form more quickly and set up trust and social presence if participants use blended learning practices and also meet face-to-face or at least meet through a technologically aided meeting. Such blended communities are being advocated more and more as the most effective model for professional learning and most communities in current times draw on electronic communication and resources as a component of their practice. Though the literature has begun to provide accounts of the blended learning practices of these communities, the value of the blended learning processes has not readily been identified or specifically investigated for its impact on professional learning. This paper will describe research into the use of blended learning practices for teachers’ professional learning with both technological blends and blending of communities discussed.