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Graduate Defense: Randall Gwin

July 30 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am MDT

Dissertation Information

Title: A Case Study of Online Professional Development as a Catalyst for the Diffusion of Pedagogical Dispositions and Educational Technologies across Cultural Contexts

Program: Doctor of Education in Educational Technology

Advisor: Dr. Ross Perkins, Educational Technology

Committee Members: Dr. Jesús H. Trespalacios, Educational Technology, and Dr. Norm Friesen, Educational Technology

Abstract

Although the adoption of new tools for communication and learning could reasonably be expected to influence culture, little is known about the relationship between cultural values and the diffusion of Web 2.0 technologies. This case study examines the way in which teachers’ cultural values influence and are influenced by Web 2.0 technologies used in online professional development, as demonstrated by participant attitudes toward and use of these technologies in their courses. The study examines Likert-scale and open-ended prompts on initial and final surveys, self-introductions, online forum discussions, and final projects collected from 59 participants from four Central Asian countries over a period of five to eighteen months. This allows an examination of changes in the participants’ expressed attitudes toward and use of Web 2.0 educational technology as well as the identification of cultural values (Hofstede, 1980b) associated with these patterns of adoption and diffusion. The findings are especially beneficial to decision-makers who care about the way the use of Web 2.0 educational technology could be associated with decreases in the cultural values of Power Distance and Masculinity.