The Professional Development School: A Building Block for Training Public School Faculty on New Technologies

The Professional Development School: A Building Block for Training Public School Faculty on New Technologies

George W. Semich (Robert Morris University, USA) and Beatrice Gibbons (Robert Morris University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-150-8.ch008
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In his recent text (2011), Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology, Picciano noted that “an important ingredient for implementing change, improvement, and innovation in education is a knowledgeable and vibrant staff “(p. 215). However, there is a body of research (Goodson,1991; Becker, 1994; U.S. Congress, 1995; Northrup & Little, 1996; Trotter, 1999;Cuban, 2001; Park & Staresina, 2004; Christensen, Horn, and Johnson, 2009;Hargreaves, Earl, & Schmidt, 2002), that clearly indicates that teachers are not making the best use of technology in classroom. To meet this challenge,the authors secured a professional development grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education which provided an opportunity for them to hire a highly skilled workshop facilitator who conducted a full day workshop that covered smart board technologies, web quests, and synchroneyes software to a group of teachers from our local PDS school. In an earlier chapter, the authors shared information about the workshop. The primary focus of this chapter is to revisit our findings from the faculty training workshop and present additional information from the faculty perspective and the current relate literature.
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Research Questions

We formulated the following research questions based on our follow-up work on the impact of the grant workshop with Moon Teachers:

  • 1.

    As a result of the University/Professional Development School partnership,

    • has there been an increase in the number of student teachers placed in grades K-12 in the Moon Area School District?

  • 2.

    Has the School of Education and Social Sciences offered subsequent technology training sessions with the Moon Area School District or other school districts?

  • 3.

    Do the teachers who participated in the initial technology training workshop believe that the training impacted their content knowledge and pedagogy of technology-mediated instruction? In what ways?

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