Micro-Celebrities or Teacher Leaders? An Analysis of Spanish Educators’ Behaviors on Twitter
Keywords:teacher learning, influencer, Twitter, social network, e-learning
Social networking sites have become affinity spaces for teachers. Many teachers use them with different intentions and motivations, including learning. On social media platforms there are active teachers who have developed a certain leadership and recognition from many teachers. In some areas, like marketing or fashion, people with influence are called influencers. This paper investigates who they are, how their network is configured and how they perceive themselves. The questions that directed our research were: Who are the predominant Spanish teacher leaders on Twitter? What is the network structure that characterizes them? What perceptions do these teacher leaders have about their role and its impact on their professional development as teachers and others? This study has two distinct but interrelated phases. We investigated the structure and relationships among 54 Spanish teacher leaders. Using a social network analysis (SNA) approach, through the analysis of the social behavior of these teachers on the social network Twitter, we first identify educational profiles who have a high degree of centrality in the network. These are teachers who are recognized as opinion leaders by a significant proportion of their fellows. In addition to the degree of centrality that tells us how relevant a user is in a specific digital community, we identified teachers who play a key role in the circulation of information in the network studied. In some way, these teachers share common characteristics with activists in other fields. Of the 54 teachers, we selected 20 who were then interviewed. The findings demonstrate that they don't consider themselves micro-celebrities or influencers. We found a lack of identification not only with the term, but also with the image of an influencer which was understood as banal, superficial, commercial, and far from what they do in social networks.These teachers develop their identity as new digital artisans who foster a culture of collaboration and create affinity spaces that allow informal learning. Their motivation is intrinsic, through recognition and prestige among other teachers, which leads them to build a kind of constructivist leadership.
Copyright (c) 2023 Carlos Marcelo, Paulino Murillo, Paula Marcelo-Martínez, Carmen Yot-Domínguez, Cristina Yanes-Cabrera
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