Harnessing Technology to Enable the Flow of Professional Capital: Exploring Experiences of Professional Learning in Rural Scotland

Helen Coker (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    44 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Technology is becoming ubiquitous in daily life and intertwined with professional practice. With the growing prevalence of online and digital technologies comes an expectation of connectivity but this is not yet consistent in rural areas. For professionals working in rural settings digital technology opens opportunities to connect with their wider professional communities, building social capital and accessing resources and knowledge which build human and decisional capital. This qualitative study captured the experiences of three groups of professionals in rural Scotland. Using thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with rural professionals the potential of technology to enable the flow of professional capital was explored. Rural professionals stand to gain exponentially from the use of technology for professional learning, but it is not a panacea. The distributed nature of rural professional networks, the breadth of information available online and the influence of technology on interactions are important factors for consideration. This research was carried out before the Covid-19 pandemic which led to many professionals working from home. Following the pandemic many professional learning opportunities have moved online, the experience of rural professionals may foreground some useful considerations for those developing online professional learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)651-666
    Number of pages16
    JournalProfessional Development in Education
    Volume47
    Issue number4
    Early online date28 Jan 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Keywords

    • Technology
    • professional capital
    • professional learning
    • rural professionals

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