Background and Objectives: Users enter social networks with different motives and their participation in social networks is also different from each other. Having different goals and motives, teachers as users of social networks choose various ways to participate in these networks. So, laying emphasis on the role of motivation in the ways teachers use social networks, the present study aims at identifying teachers’ motivation and the ways they use social networks. The specific objectives of this research are: 1. determining how virtual social networks are used by teachers who are actively using them. 2. Identifying the feedback of teachers in virtual social networks.
Methods: The present research is done using qualitative research approach. The field of this research includes groups and forums of Iranian teachers’ social networks. In this research, 30 teachers who were active in social networks participated among whom 14 teachers were male and 16 teachers were female. All of these participants were managers of virtual channels and
Various supergroups in social networks. They were selected using the logic of purposeful sampling and criterion-based method. The selection criterion was the record or history of the group or channel, the number of the followers and the number of the visitors. Also, the teachers who were selected for the interview in addition to this criterion, were selected in the field of e- content generation in virtual social networks by the Roshd center site as an active content generator. Every interviewee mentioned their views in answer to the interview questions for 40 to 45 minutes. To analyze data, the theme analysis method was used. In this method, first the concepts and codes are extracted from the interview text and then the status of each theme from the type of inclusive, organizing, and basic is determined in the network of themes. In this research, in order to perform this process, the following steps were taken: 1. Frist, with the frequent screening and active reading of the data, the search for the meaning and discovery of patterns began by using note-taking and punctuating the data (familiarity with the data). 2. After reading the data, the codes and concepts introducing the data were established (generating basic codes). 3. The identified codes were organized and transferred to certain themes (generating themes). 4. At this stage, the themes were named and reviewed as needed 5. The network of themes were generated to identify the basic, organizing and inclusive themes and the final report of the data was set.
Findings: The findings showed that teachers benefit from social networks for personal purposes such as entertainment, access to the news and communication with friends, and for occupational purposes, such as professional development and interaction with colleagues. The teachers’ motives affect how they provide feedback and how they participate in the social networks. Teachers show various feedbacks and participation in the social media which can be classified into six levels of reasonable diffusing, liking, controlling, counselling, criticizing, and commenting.
Conclusion: Levels of teachers’ participation in the social networks in terms of their professional development and occupational learning is of significance from the perspective that the more the participation of the teachers in social networks can be organized by using specific projects and programs, so that they can move away from weak interactions, such as diffusing, liking, and controlling towards counselling, criticizing, and reasoning, they can be more profoundly involved with their own occupational themes in the social networks and can benefit from any time, any place, and interactive potentials of this environment for their own professional development.
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