Teachers ‘liking’ their work? Exploring the realities of teacher Facebook groups

Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Thomas Hillman, Neil Selwyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media are now an important aspect of the professional lives of school teachers. This paper explores the growing use of mass ‘teacher groups’ and ‘teacher communities’ on social media platforms such as Facebook. While these online communities are often welcomed as a means of professional learning and support, the paper considers the extent to which Facebook groups also expose teachers to some of the less beneficial aspects of social media, such as various forms of ‘digital labour’, commercialisation of exchanges and predominance of individualised reputation-driven behaviours. Drawing on a detailed examination of a Swedish teacher Facebook group of over 13,000 members, the paper first addresses aspects of the online community that could be seen as professionally beneficial and/or valuable—particularly in terms of information exchange and social support. Yet while perceived by participants as a relatively beneficial and uncontroversial aspect of their working lives, the research also points to characteristics of the Facebook group that constituted disadvantaging, exploitative and/or disempowering forms of technological engagement. In these terms, the paper highlights tensions between what appears to ‘work’ for individual teachers in the short term and likely longer-term implications that these practices might have for diminished professionalism and expertise of teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-250
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • online community
  • professional development
  • social media
  • teachers

Cite this

Bergviken Rensfeldt, Annika ; Hillman, Thomas ; Selwyn, Neil. / Teachers ‘liking’ their work? Exploring the realities of teacher Facebook groups. In: British Educational Research Journal. 2018 ; Vol. 44, No. 2. pp. 230-250.
@article{04251555a96e40928c9bb718e7ba585d,
title = "Teachers ‘liking’ their work? Exploring the realities of teacher Facebook groups",
abstract = "Social media are now an important aspect of the professional lives of school teachers. This paper explores the growing use of mass ‘teacher groups’ and ‘teacher communities’ on social media platforms such as Facebook. While these online communities are often welcomed as a means of professional learning and support, the paper considers the extent to which Facebook groups also expose teachers to some of the less beneficial aspects of social media, such as various forms of ‘digital labour’, commercialisation of exchanges and predominance of individualised reputation-driven behaviours. Drawing on a detailed examination of a Swedish teacher Facebook group of over 13,000 members, the paper first addresses aspects of the online community that could be seen as professionally beneficial and/or valuable—particularly in terms of information exchange and social support. Yet while perceived by participants as a relatively beneficial and uncontroversial aspect of their working lives, the research also points to characteristics of the Facebook group that constituted disadvantaging, exploitative and/or disempowering forms of technological engagement. In these terms, the paper highlights tensions between what appears to ‘work’ for individual teachers in the short term and likely longer-term implications that these practices might have for diminished professionalism and expertise of teachers.",
keywords = "Facebook, online community, professional development, social media, teachers",
author = "{Bergviken Rensfeldt}, Annika and Thomas Hillman and Neil Selwyn",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/berj.3325",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "230--250",
journal = "British Educational Research Journal",
issn = "0141-1926",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

Teachers ‘liking’ their work? Exploring the realities of teacher Facebook groups. / Bergviken Rensfeldt, Annika; Hillman, Thomas; Selwyn, Neil.

In: British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 44, No. 2, 01.04.2018, p. 230-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Teachers ‘liking’ their work? Exploring the realities of teacher Facebook groups

AU - Bergviken Rensfeldt, Annika

AU - Hillman, Thomas

AU - Selwyn, Neil

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - Social media are now an important aspect of the professional lives of school teachers. This paper explores the growing use of mass ‘teacher groups’ and ‘teacher communities’ on social media platforms such as Facebook. While these online communities are often welcomed as a means of professional learning and support, the paper considers the extent to which Facebook groups also expose teachers to some of the less beneficial aspects of social media, such as various forms of ‘digital labour’, commercialisation of exchanges and predominance of individualised reputation-driven behaviours. Drawing on a detailed examination of a Swedish teacher Facebook group of over 13,000 members, the paper first addresses aspects of the online community that could be seen as professionally beneficial and/or valuable—particularly in terms of information exchange and social support. Yet while perceived by participants as a relatively beneficial and uncontroversial aspect of their working lives, the research also points to characteristics of the Facebook group that constituted disadvantaging, exploitative and/or disempowering forms of technological engagement. In these terms, the paper highlights tensions between what appears to ‘work’ for individual teachers in the short term and likely longer-term implications that these practices might have for diminished professionalism and expertise of teachers.

AB - Social media are now an important aspect of the professional lives of school teachers. This paper explores the growing use of mass ‘teacher groups’ and ‘teacher communities’ on social media platforms such as Facebook. While these online communities are often welcomed as a means of professional learning and support, the paper considers the extent to which Facebook groups also expose teachers to some of the less beneficial aspects of social media, such as various forms of ‘digital labour’, commercialisation of exchanges and predominance of individualised reputation-driven behaviours. Drawing on a detailed examination of a Swedish teacher Facebook group of over 13,000 members, the paper first addresses aspects of the online community that could be seen as professionally beneficial and/or valuable—particularly in terms of information exchange and social support. Yet while perceived by participants as a relatively beneficial and uncontroversial aspect of their working lives, the research also points to characteristics of the Facebook group that constituted disadvantaging, exploitative and/or disempowering forms of technological engagement. In these terms, the paper highlights tensions between what appears to ‘work’ for individual teachers in the short term and likely longer-term implications that these practices might have for diminished professionalism and expertise of teachers.

KW - Facebook

KW - online community

KW - professional development

KW - social media

KW - teachers

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85042522733&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/berj.3325

DO - 10.1002/berj.3325

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85042522733

VL - 44

SP - 230

EP - 250

JO - British Educational Research Journal

JF - British Educational Research Journal

SN - 0141-1926

IS - 2

ER -