The TeleLearning Professional Development School is a concept anchored in a multi-site network of teacher educators from Faculties of Education in Canada engaged in collaborative research with school practitioners working on thoughtful and effective uses of online activities and knowledge building. It was first a research activity of the TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence, funded in September 1995 through the Social Science Research Council of Canada, which aimed at building new models of professional development and teacher education that are required today to address the new needs for technology knowledge and use of technology of practicing and graduating school teachers. It is now sustained through a variety of research and teaching activities.

The TL*PDS is anchored into physical settings (classrooms, schools, and other organizations) where a substantial use of new technology for teaching and learning is made. The two Canadian official languages are spoken in the TL*PDS (English and French). Learning and knowledge building communities are being studied in a number of ways, including student-teacher interaction in network-enabled classrooms, classroom processes, and content development. For instance, the TACT Community encourages student teachers to engage in collaborative learning and in knowledge building in a number of ways.

To establish networked learning communities and knowledge building communities in teacher education and professional development is a work of design in and of itself. It is, in the words of Banathy (1994), a "future-creating disciplined inquiry".

References

 
IsCoL
IKIT
NCATE Professional Development Schools Standards (2001)
Brown, A.L. (1997) Transforming schools into communities of thinking and learning about serious matters. American Psychologist, 52, 4, 399-413.
Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (1999) How people learn, Ch 9

On-site and on-line professional communities