Tag Archives: Social Media


Proposal Submission Deadline: March 15, 2011
Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning via Social Networks
A book edited by Dr. Vanessa P. Dennen and Jennifer B. Myers
Florida State University, USA

People are increasingly engaged in profession-related learning via social networks supported by Web 2.0 tools. Some of these informal online learners are already actively engaged in a profession, whereas others are preparing to enter a profession. Regardless, their online interactions enhance their formal education and face-to-face professional experiences. These individuals represent a sub-set of their larger professional community, not all of which has sought or may wish to seek online interaction. Still, the robust nature of these online communities, often developed in a bottom-up fashion, indicates the value of Web 2.0-based interaction for at least some people.

Informal, voluntary professional development activities allow professionals to focus on individual learning needs as they arise. These opportunities do not replace formal education and training, which should focus on core knowledge and skills within the profession. Instead, they enhance formal experiences by providing a platform through which individualization, social networking, mentoring, and knowledge brokering all may take place. Thus, the power of informal online learning and professional development is in supporting individuals as they determine their own learning needs and, typically through interaction with others, find pertinent and timely ways of meeting those needs. Ironically, these activities may not be validated by the organizations in which people work as true learning or professional development because they are free to participants, are not typically led by “experts” (or are led by self-proclaimed experts), are socially constructed, may include personal/off-topic chatter, are not formally assessed, and do not result in a certification or degree. Still, the activities fill an important gap in professional learning because they enable on-the-job knowledge exchange and teach what is not or what cannot be taught in formal environments.

Objective of the Book
This edited volume will examine how individuals and organizations are using Web 2.0 tools to create informal learning and professional development opportunities. Informal learning is learning which occurs outside of a formal educational context, typically driven by a personal question or an immediate need. In other instances, informal learning may occur as a by-product of other social interactions. In this context, we focus on informal learning that occurs through online social networks on a voluntary basis. Professional development, then, is defined as learning that will enhance one’s job-related knowledge or career growth regardless of field.

Some of the technologies that will be examined in this volume include but are not limited to Twitter, blogging, discussion forums, social bookmarking tools, You Tube, and Wikis. Particular phenomena that will be addressed include: knowledge brokering (e.g., cross-pollination of institutional knowledge); ongoing online support communities; event-based communities (e.g. conference tweeting, current event blogging); cognitive apprenticeship via shared online narratives; and informal development of knowledge and learning object repositories.

Target Audience
This book has two anticipated audiences, academics and practitioners. Chapters will be based on theory and empirical research, adding to the larger academic conversation on this topic. At the same time, they will be written in a manner that is clearly accessible to practitioners and will include implications for practice.

We anticipate that the book will be used in the following manner:
1. As a research reference for academics.
2. As a textbook for graduate courses in instructional systems/technology, information technology, and communication.
3. As a professional guide for practitioners, particularly human resources and career development professionals who seek to assist others in furthering their own professional development.

Recommended topics

The book will cover:
• Theories of Social Networks for Professional Development and Informal Learning.
• Development of Social Networks for Professional Development and Informal Learning.
• Impact of Social Networks on Professional Development and Informal Learning.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• pedagogical frameworks for informal online professional development
• social networking frameworks for informal online professional development
• technology support for informal online professional development
• how professional development networks are designed and developed
• how norms and practices develop in professional development networks
• technologies used for professional development networks
• case studies of social network development
• evaluations of online professional development networks
• empirical research on network interactions in professional development networks
• case studies of cognitive apprenticeship, mentoring, and knowledge brokering through online social networks.

Submission Procedure
Authors are invited to submit chapter proposals on or before March 15 2011. The proposal should consist of a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by April 15, 2011 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by August 15, 2011. All submitted chapters will undergo a double-blind review. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2012.

Important Dates
March 15, 2011: Proposal Submission Deadline
April 15, 2011: Notification of Acceptance
August 15, 2011: Full Chapter Submission
October 15, 2011: Review Results Returned
November 15, 2011: Final Chapter Submission

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) or by mail to:
Dr. Vanessa P. Dennen and Jennifer Myers
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL USA 32306-4453
Tel.: +1 850-644-8783 • Fax: +1 850-644-8776
E-mail: vdennen@fsu.edu and jab07s@fsu.edu
Joint account: dennen.myers.book@gmail.com