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The Importance of Effective Professional Development in Technology Integration

Friday, April 06, 2018
Friday, April. 6th, 2018 by Benjamin Arnold, ELB Education

Change is never easy. Especially when one is asked to develop new teaching techniques. However, teachers must strive to overcome the fear, challenge, or intimidation they may feel since studies show that a large percentage who receive technology teaching awards are initially reluctant to adopt the new technology. (Etmer et. al., 2012) ELB Education offers quality professional development services to help alleviate these concerns and empower teachers and staff to make the changes needed for long-term success. Fear will continue to present itself as education technology market continues to grow at a very high rate. (Busaidi & Al-Shihi, 2012).

In order to adapt to new technologies, teachers need sufficient time and administration support to learn technological operations, applications, and integrations in a multi-faceted manner (Leford, 2016). One-hour or one-day trainings will no longer meet the needs of teachers, nor does masking school staff meetings as professional development. ELB Education intends to apply a constructivist approach, implying that professional development should be based on prior knowledge, flexibility, collaboration, context-based, and authenticity (Potter & Rockinson, 2012).

This approach parallels the best practices that Jamerson (2015) unearths in her study: “professional development should be sustained, ongoing, hands-on, job-embedded, scaffolded, differentiated by subject or grade level, and evaluated routinely using a variety of methods” (p. iii). Teachers have to gain a deeper understanding than just technological fluency. They have to develop ways to apply and integrate technology into lesson planning and pedagogy. This development will not occur on its own. School administration has to be persuaded by this effort, finance it, and provide teachers time to engage in it. Furthermore, professional development should be professionalised, incentivised, and tracked by creating badges or credentials for teachers to obtain. This multi-faceted approach will have positive implications on internal and external factors affecting technology integration.

This conversation about identifying factors affecting integration becomes particularly important as schools significantly invest in hardware and software for their classrooms. A lack of training is cited as the biggest impediment to its successful integration (Ertmer et. al. 2012). In addition, instructor satisfaction is the key determinant for its continuous use (Busaidi & Al-Shihi, 2012). Teacher satisfaction levels are related to the perceptions of the technology’s value, which is driven by its usefulness for student learning and that is developed at professional development.

Integration practices are correlated to the value the instructor places on technology in the classroom. Teachers, who have a positive perception or confidence toward the technology, tend to be more open toward its integration. Integration supported with professional development enhances the perceived benefits of the technology in the classroom (Hur et. al., 2016). Therefore, ELB Education offers and includes professional development services with the purchase of education technology. Only effective professional development can ensure a technology integration process that is successful and seamless. (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). Click here to learn about our professional development courses!

References

Al-Busaidi, K. A., & Al-Shihi, H. (2012). Key factors to instructors’ satisfaction of learning management systems in blended learning. Journal of Computing in Higher Education: Research & Integration of Instructional Technology, 24, 1, 18-39.

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, O., Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education, 59, 2, 423-435.

Huang, Y.-N., & Hong, Z.-R. (2015). The effects of a flipped English classroom intervention on students’ information and communication technology and English reading comprehension. Educational Technology Research and Development : a Bi-Monthly Publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology, 64, 2, 175-193.

Hur, J. W., Shannon, D., & Wolf, S. (2016). An investigation of relationships between internal and external factors affecting technology integration in classrooms. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 32, 3, 105-114.

Jamerson, E. I. G. (2015). Training model for incorporating interactive whiteboards into the K-12 classroom (Order No. 3664134). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1717335509). Retrieved from http://libproxy.boisestate.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/docview/1717335509?accountid=9649

Lawless, K.A., & Pellegrino, J.W. (2007). Professional development in integrating technology into teaching and learning: Knowns, unknowns, and ways to pursue better questions and answers. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 575–615. doi:10.3102/0034654307309921

Ledford, D. M. (2016). Development of a Professional Learning Framework to Improve Teacher Practice in Technology Integration (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2159&&context=td

Potter, S. L., & Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. J. (2012). Technology integration for instructional improvement: The impact of professional development. Performance Improvement, 51, 2, 22-27.

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About ELB Education
ELB Education has been providing innovative teaching technologies since 1986. With over 30 years experience, we are passionate about supporting teachers, providing a comprehensive range of technology solutions, training and information about the effective use of technology for 21st century learning.