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Inequalities of Professional Learning on Social Media Platforms

Conference paper
Authors Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt
Thomas Hillman
Published in Proceedings of the Weizenbaum Conference, "Challenges of Digital Inequality - Digital Education, Digital Work, Digital Life", Berlin, Germany, 2019
ISBN 978-3-96701-000-8
ISSN 2510-7666
Publisher Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords social media; facebook; electronic learning; participation; media; utilization; educational inequality; teacher; Sweden
Subject categories Pedagogy, Pedagogical Work, Work Sciences


Professional learning on social media is generally framed as unproblematic, but the transition to these platforms marks a change as professionals’ work is conditioned by their logic and economy. In this paper, our focus is how problematic inequalities of teachers’ professional learning around access, participation and resources are produced as their professional exchanges is formed by social media participation. Three aspects of inequality have been examined. First, the performance of teachers’ (un)equal professional opportunities; second, (un)equal access to resources; and third, (un)equal ex-istential opportunities for professional development. We draw on examination of three-years of APIdata from a large teacher Facebook-group asking, who can participate (gender, location), what voices are heard (status, language), and how does the social media platform condition professional exchange and participation? Our results consider the opportunities and costs for teachers as individuals, profes-sionals and intellectuals. They reveal problematic temporal aspects such as work intensification, and limited professional exchange, partly conditioned by the platform functionality.

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