The aim of this research is to map out the existing state of play with respect to the use of virtual networks at national, sectorial and local levels that serve the professional development of vocational teachers or trainers in Albania. Relevant actors and pathways for future development in 2017 and beyond have been identified. The work also aims to raise awareness and understanding of virtual networks for professional development, champion their use and engage potential participants. Related work has been carried out at the same time in Serbia and Turkey.
Virtual networks are understood as on-line social networks, whether they make use of social media (such as Facebook) or a custom-built virtual platform. In this research there is a particular focus virtual networks that facilitate blended approaches: that is the integration of online with face-to-face networking or professional development activities. Blended networks may offer a range of functionalities: from sharing of news to finding partners and collaborative knowledge making. This work is intended to support the development of blended networks that will be used in a planned and pedagogically effective manner for the purpose of improving teacher knowledge, skills and practices, with the ultimate purpose of improving student outcomes.