Professional Learning in Unlikely Spaces: Social Media and Virtual Communities as Professional Development

Kathleen P. King


In this case study, results demonstrate that an individual?s use of social media as professional learning spans understanding, networking, professional identity development, and transformative learning. Specifically, virtual online communities facilitated through social media provide professional networks, social relationships and learning beyond the scope of the individual?s usual experience. Case study method reveals strategies, extent, and impact of learning providing insight into this phenomenon. The significance of the research includes purposefully facilitating professional learning through informal learning contexts, including social media and online communities beyond technology-centric fields. Discussion and recommendations include using social media and virtual communities as instructional strategies for graduate studies and continued learning beyond formal education.


Transformative learning; social media; informal learning; professional development; learning communities

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Copyright (c) 2017 Kathleen P. King

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning. ISSN: 1863-0383
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