Ku, Heng-Yu

Committee Member

Middleton, Valerie

Committee Member

Walker, Dana

Committee Member

Ursyan, Anna


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Educational Studies


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



241 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Online communities have the potential to help teacher education programs inform and prepare future teachers to teach children equitably and confront social injustices. Online communities of scholars, activists, and artists can be used as a resource for teacher educators to prepare teacher-candidates and in-service teachers to participate in teacher inquiry and practitioner research. In turn, the research that they generate can be used by preservice and in-service teachers in the future. Online communities can also be used by classroom teachers as a form of professional development. My study included six participants – undergraduate college students, classroom teachers, and teacher-educators – from two social-justice and human-rights oriented online communities of teachers, #SaturdaySchool and #EduColor. Using observational fieldnotes, reflective journal entries, demographic survey data, interview transcripts, and archival data of past usage of the hashtags #SaturdaySchool and #EduColor during weekly Twitter teach-ins and monthly Twitter chats, respectively speaking. Findings for this study’s first research question describe the values/beliefs and behaviors shared within each community and across both communities. Using archival data from Twitter and other social media platforms as well as demography survey data, this study’s second research question examined the roles of non-human entities within online places by examining usage of individual hashtags, a weekly Twitter teach-in, and the online communities #SaturdaySchool and #EduColor. The findings of this study could be useful for many grade-school classroom teachers, teacher educators and teacher education programs, teacher professional development programs, curriculum developers, and designers of educational innovation. This study sought to improve the understanding of online communities of practice, in general, by examining the roles of the digital information and communication technologies that mediate them.

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