Information technology (IT) is becoming increasingly important in K-12 (from kindergarten to senior high school) education. Teachers face growing pressure to interact with their students via networks. However, most teachers require IT assistance to establish a network learning environment. In this study, an approach named "Educational Applications Providers Platform" (EAPP), which clearly separates system developers and users, is designed to help teachers easily apply IT to build network learning communities based on existing physical learning communities, and designed to increase interaction frequency and quality both during and after class. Additionally, EAPP assists teachers in integrating physical and network learning communities to proceed with community-based learning. A system named "EduTowns" is implemented to realize the EAPP concept. The analytical results demonstrate that the EduTowns system is effective in Taiwanese schools, regardless of whether they are in urban or rural areas. Moreover, the survey results demonstrate that the EAPP is helpful to many teachers. Even teachers with low IT abilities can use the EduTowns system to build and organize hybrid physical and network community-based learning environments. The survey also indicates that teachers use the EduTowns system both at school and at home.
- Community relationships
- Educational administration
- K-12 distance education guides