Implementing the Professional Development Program

Implementing the Professional Development Program

Donna Parker (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5780-9.ch077
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As education is transformed through technology, teachers must be armed with knowledge and the capability of using technological tools to strengthen and enhance learning environments. Technology is the vehicle that assists in delivering meaningful and deeper educational experiences in today's classrooms. However, not all teachers are comfortable or competent in successfully integrating technology into their curricula and classrooms. School's technology plans now have an obligation to include professional development as an integral component that ensures technology integration training for faculty, staff, and administrators at all educational levels. Implementation of effective professional development requires technology leaders to formulate plans employing various methods and incentives to motivate teachers to learn the importance of technology integration while giving them the necessary equipment and support to effectively utilize technology in their content areas.
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Methods Of Implementing The Professional Development Program

Professional development related to technology integration in classrooms is currently experiencing needed changes. Technology skills are no longer just for those who teach computer programming or application skills and are necessary for all teachers at all levels (Plair, 2008). Over the last few years, standards have been created at local, state, and national levels that mandate technology integration in the classrooms. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has called for technology integration and has issued National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) as well as National Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). Major reforms are needed to successfully integrate technology in classrooms. Professional development training is playing an important role in reforming education by offering training for teachers who are technologically challenged. Designing and implementing quality professional development programs that better prepare teachers to integrate technology into their classroom can be a daunting task for those involved in the process. Educators must not lose sight of professional development’s primary goal to improve students’ learning (Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007). Professional development programs must provide the technological and pedagogical components that prepare teachers for tech savvy students. According to Keengwe and Onchwari (2009), “Integrating technology tools into instruction refers to the process in which technology is used as a tool to actively support the tasks of teaching and learning” (p. 210). For professional development programs to be effective, key elements must come together. Teachers’ motivation, administrative support, proper equipment, and technical support are among those key elements. Technology leaders must ensure that administrators and teachers who use technology effectively should take advantage of all opportunities to model that technology use. As more and more teachers and administrators adopt technology and share the benefits, others are more apt to follow.

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