Enhancing Personal Professional Development Through Technology Integration: The Need for Ubiquitous Learning

Enhancing Personal Professional Development Through Technology Integration: The Need for Ubiquitous Learning

Özden Şahin İzmirli (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey) and Gökhan Çalışkan (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9779-7.ch005

Abstract

In this chapter, personal professional development trainings, which need to include ubiquitous learning environments, are discussed. First of all, professional development is explained. Then, the authors discussed factors affecting the efficiency of professional development activities and how they can incorporate new technologies into professional development activities to meet the needs of adult learners. After that, based on the definition of ubiquitous learning, ways of using technology in terms of meeting adult needs with professional development are examined. Finally, the process that was evaluated within the framework of technology integration is presented to readers.
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Professional Development

It is seen that the educational practices which have been successful in societies are always compatible with the characteristics and attitudes of the societies where they were implemented. In addition to this, it is essential to meet the needs of societies when it is a necessity to make some radical changes or radical practices. Such a situation is an indicator of the fact that socio-cultural values ​​and structures are influential in the educational processes. It is possible to understand the power of societies to influence cultures with the observation of two simple examples from two different societies regarding lunch time hours of the schools. In some societies, you can see that families fill their schoolyards waiting to feed their children at lunchtimes. In some societies, children have full control over their food and nutrition-related tasks. These characteristic differences of the societies obviously influence the developmental progress of the children. In addition to this, it may also be influential on the duration of lunch, the physical needs of schools and even the expectations of their families and schools.

In addition to the ability of societies to influence the schools, schools and teachers also have the power to influence societies. This mutual influence constitutes an endless cycle of shaping both sides. However, it would be meaningless to leave such important facts on their own in such processes. For this reason, processes should be supported and guided periodically. These supports and guidance often go through the education of adults. It is obvious that parents are also informed about the processes within the scope of the education of adults. However, most of the teachers' sustainable education is planned and carried out within the scope of “professional development”. In the trilogy of community, education and future, professional development activities are one of the vital factors feeding this trilogy.

The main purpose of professional development is to provide individuals with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes regarding their work and to support their compliance with their organization (Nadler, 1965). The process of acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes of adults starts with their being uncomfortable with the existing processes and being demanding individuals. Professional development is a process based on the needs of adults. The ability of an adult to demand an individual development task is an indication of a need. In addition; needs are (1) shortcomings determined as a result of evaluations, (2) the changes in laws and regulations, (3) the need for continuously raising qualified individuals who meet the needs of the day, (4) the employment of new employees, the use of a new equipment added to the work environment, the appointment of a new manager (interpretation of the changing vision, etc.) and making decisions on the transition to a new technology.

Planning of professional development is based on individuals’ recognition of their needs and being demanding individuals. However, the provision of professional development activities to the staff for institutions is almost a necessity. The complex business relations in business life, achieving the institutional goals, motivation, access to the targeted quality (lack of supervisor and quality work) all make professional development activities a necessity for institutions (Aydın, 2011). Therefore, besides the benefits of professional development for individuals, it is also necessary to see its benefits for institutions.

In addition to all these general situations, what wears off adults’ knowledge and skills is the rapid change and developmental mobility of technology in the 21st century. In fact, the main cost of this quick mobility in such technologies is to bring the new technology to the institution. The technological and software requirements of the institutions to keep their existing requirements up to date constitute a serious cost for them. For adult educators, however, the main handicap is how to give the training regarding the new technology to the employee rather than purchasing the most up to date devices so that the staff can use the constantly updated technology (Thompson, Chuang and Sahin, 2007). By allocating some shares from institutions' budgets, they can purchase the technologies to the institutions with a single transaction. However, what makes the staff training process difficult is about how to plan the working hours and training hours, how to give training that will be application-oriented, the diversity in the need for training among the personnel and the diversity of the time intervals of the personnel.

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