Peta Mcallister

Hi. My name is Peta. I live in regional Queensland in a district called Whitsunday. It is a beautiful region, which attracts visitors from all over the world. Its beauty, however, is marred by a lack of opportunity for professional growth. The tyranny of distance makes it difficult for release time to be afforded by even the most supportive of administrative teams (O'Mara & Gutierrez, 2010). Professional Development opportunities tend to be offered in larger regional areas, which makes budgetary sense. For teachers in our region participation necessitates travel times of 4, 6, or even longer for my subject area of Drama due to airline scheduling. Such extensive travel increases the financial burden on schools and teachers. Shifting the culture of teaching
I am passionate about finding ways to provide real opportunities for teachers within the workforce to access opportunities for Professional Development: both formal and informal. With support, teachers may be able to harness (and practice / experiment with) technological innovations and social media to further collaborative opportunities for co-learning (Sung, Chang, Yu, & Chang, 2009; Webster-Wright, 2009).
Online Collaborative Practices
participating in digital culture is a transition that envelopes us and changes the way we communicate and engage in communication. Our habits evolve and undergo changes. OUr muscles recreate new memories of how to interact with communicative devices. Sometimes the conversion is confused. I recently attempted to turn the page of my journal by tapping on the right hand side of the page. Embarrassingly I attempted this on more than one occasion before my brain realised that the medium was not digital/technological. paper has not yet awoken to the digital culture and refuses to react to single taps, or even double taps!
Through participation, teachers enrol themselves within the digital culture, embarking on a collaborative learning journey developing an appreciation for digital culture.

References

O'Mara, J., & Gutierrez, A. (2010). Classroom teachers as co-researchers: the affordances and challenges of collaboration. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33(1), 41.
Sung, Y. T., Chang, K. E., Yu, W. C., & Chang, T. H. (2009). Supporting teachers' reflection and learning through structured digital teaching portfolios. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(4), 375-385. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2009.00312.x
Webster-Wright, A. (2009). Reframing professional development through understanding authentic professional learning. Review of Educational Research, 79(2), 702 - 739. doi: 10.3102/0034654308330970