Exploring the Use of Social Networking Tools to Support a Community of Practice in China
Abstract: This virtual session presents experiences from the early stage of a collaboration to incorporate social networking tools into a nationwide conservation-education professional development program in the People’s Republic of China. Prior to the launch of a joint-initiative with US educators in this conservation-education profession in 2006, no professional development program existed for this group of Chinese professionals. US and Chinese members of this joint-initiative invited the authors of this paper, instructional technology researchers and practitioners, to assist with their efforts to offer social networking tools in support of building and maintaining a community of practice among these professionals. From a design-based research perspective, findings from qualitative data collection in naturalistic settings will be shared about habits, trends and barriers to the use of social networking in professional development in China discovered in this case.