Standards-Based Educational Technology Professional Development

Standards-Based Educational Technology Professional Development

Diana Stanfill (Lindenwood University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch060
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Because of the melding of the NSDC standards and the eMINTS program, this research may provide valuable insight to stakeholders involved at all levels: adoption, design, and implementation of educational technology professional development. Further research into eMINTS’ strengths (use of train-the-trainer model), as well as weaknesses (inability to customize training), could provide the organization with the information needed to strengthen the program and thus increase the number of teachers trained to integrate technology in the classroom.
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When teachers walk down the hallways of a school, they may hear students talk about updating tweets using Twiterific, contributing to a wiki, or being splogged. At the start of the 21st century, these are common technical terms, and it would be reasonable to assume that most young people know how to use the hardware and software associated with them. However, having the ability to socialize online does not make a student technologically literate or proficient. To be considered technologically literate, students must progress beyond the trivial, and instead acquire skills that will allow them to use information in analytic, evaluative, creative, and ethical ways (Cech, 2008; Culp, Honey, & Mandinach, 2003; Manzo, 2009). It is unlikely that students will reach these and other 21st century levels of proficiency until the teachers themselves employ and model these skills. In order to improve students’ technical abilities, schools must first educate the teachers through targeted, effective educational technology professional development (Garry & Graham, 2004). The challenge is that many teachers need assistance in reaching the level of technical skills Garry and Graham noted in their research. Educational technology professional development is a key component in the growth and sustainability of technology education (Culp et al.).

Teachers, who for the most part, did not grow up with digital technology, need to learn to incorporate technology into classrooms where the “chalk and talk” mode of instruction once dominated to the technology age of the Net Generation (Hasmemzadeh & Wilson, 2007), with podcasts and Web 2.0 tools. Educational technology professional development that is collaborative, ongoing, multi-faceted, and reflective is one way to develop teachers who can reach today’s digital learners (Gaglioll, 2008; Ornstein, Pajak, & Ornstein, 2007; Prensky, 2005-2006; Salpeter & Bray, 2003).

This study explored the relationship between the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) standards and the educational technology professional development model known as enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS). When studying this relationship, I ascertained that the cycle of technology use in the classroom reaches far beyond the standards-based professional development sessions. I assumed relationships exist between standards-based professional development, technology-rich classrooms, and students’ acquisition of specific skills. Figure 1 illustrates the cycle I proposed (Stanfill, 2010).

Figure 1.

Technology Integration Cycle: The cycle created when integrating technology into classroom learning

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology Integration or Instructional Technology: The seamless infusion of technology into the existing classroom curriculum (Gura & Percy, 2005). The basis for integration is “using technology in such a way that it becomes part of the fabric of teaching and learning and not a technology course end unto itself” (Gura & Percy, p. 60). The terms technology integration and instructional technology are used interchangably in this paper.

21st Century Skills: For the purpose of this paper, “a new set of skills necessary to prepare students for life and work in a technological and digital age” (CEO Forum on Education and Technology, 2001, p. 10); “…the exploration of how digital tools (cameras, presentation software, computing equipment) and online resources can support and enhance traditional subjects, skills and teaching practices” (Thinkfinity, n.d.. para. 3).

Standards-based Educational Technology Professional Development: Providing professional opportunities for teaching teachers to plan for, utilize, and integrate technology into their instruction” (Meltzer, 2006, p. 9), and evaluating the quality of the professional development by applying an accountability structure such as the National Staff Development Council’s standards.

Respondent: For the purpose of this paper, a respondent refers to an eMINTS teacher who participated in my online survey.

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