How to integrate technology successfully ?

Posted by on Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Models of Professional DevelopmentImage by superkimbo in BKK via Flickr
Mixing things up at NECC, I decided to attend the presentation of two research papers regarding technology integration. Although the schools described below differ significantly from New Trier (eg., mandating attendance), I still wonder what lessons our institution can take from these successful programs?

Evaluating a K-12 Technology Integration program: IMPACTing Students and Teachers
The IMPACT model includes tech integration, professional development, and "differentiated support" for teachers.

  • Professional development had to be exciting, dynamic, "differentiated", and not structured as a "sit-n-get". It also needed to be up front, meaning that it would be provided during the summer. This North Carolina school district trained 215 during the summer.
  • Vanguard Team: a reliance on teacher-leaders who could help out during the regular school year
  • "Naysayers" buy-in: these teachers, often respected but reluctant to use technology, were given advance training so that they could legitimize the program for their respective departments.
  • Strong Leadership: all administrators attended a 3-day workshop on how to lead people in a movement for change
  • Clear expectations: the technology in the classroom WILL be used, even if it was for 5 minutes a day in order to build confidence.
  • A conversation between teachers and administrators regarding what student engagement looks like?

The Effectiveness of Technology Integration Professional Development: A Meta-Analysis

Lawless and Pelligrino (2007) reviewed the literature on how effective technology staff development has been, and this paper focused on doing a meta-analysis of these studies. Unfortunately, the number of studies studied ended up at 10 total. And the presenter had little to share in terms of a definitive conclusion. A bit of a waste of time, though I learned what "effect size" means for statisticians.

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