Faculty Publications and Presentations

Can Virtual Teacher Communities be a Reality?

Randall S. Dunn, 614

Document Type


In this paper I will discuss the effects of online communication on social connectivity and the development of community, as specifically related to teacher communities. I will begin by discussing differing constructions and aspects of the concept of community and the important role of connectivity in the development of community. I will then discuss modern technologies in the realm of CMC (Computer-Mediated Communication), the foundations of these technologies as actual tools for collaboration and community, and the role these technologies play in developing connectedness in communities. I will then draw out characteristics and value in virtual community interaction and its relationship to “real” or offline community as it exists. Identity, cultural and language issues will be discussed as they relate to online communities. I will then focus on the implications that flow from this for the development of a teacher community through online communication. Finally I will analyze two threads to illustrate some of the themes discussed above.