Professional development for technology integration
Professional development must include technology as part of the process. Technology needs to be integrated within the professional development and aligned to the curriculum and core content. Like all professional development, teachers need to be included in the process. The professional development must explain how the technology integration connects to student learning. The teachers need to have hands on experience and be active participants. They need time to absorb the training and apply it to relevant content. Throughout the professional development there should be assessment of the teacher’s understanding and application. The professional development should emphasize how technology can introduce new techniques to help students work collaboratively, and engage students in the learning process. The teachers role is that of a facilitator with the focus on student centered learning. All technologies and techniques applied should emphasize higher order thinking skills and problem solving. Technology tools should be introduced that assist students with different learning styles. Technology tools and teaching techniques provide avenues for differentiated instruction. Teachers need to learn how to select the correct technology tool to assist students with different learning styles. Demonstrate the technology with specific curriculum or content areas to teacher. They need hands on experience with the technology covering relevant content instruction. Technology integration needs to be part of an ongoing and consistent professional development. It takes time for teachers to learn and integrate the technology.
After the professional development, teachers need time to practice and integrate the technology. Teachers need follow-up training and assistance. Most importantly, teachers need consistent tech support. If the technology does not work or is too frustrating to use, they will give up and go back to what they know. Like all professional development, teachers need to know that technology integration has relevant impact on student learning and achievement. Technology integration into professional development must be part of the campus technology plan. It should be part of the overall professional development planning process.