Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Promoting technology integration in faculty development

Focusing on improving technology in teaching and learning, professional development should model best practices. Whether technology rich, technologically supported or technology enhanced, there is a greater reliance on technology in teaching (using media-rich resources, for example), learning (multi-tasking, multi-modal learning, for example), and faculty development (providing resource training just-in-time, and personalized training). Not only should professional development meet the needs of improving teaching and learning, professional development should develop a sense of community for those participating. At it's best, professional development creates a community of learners, crossing disciplinary boundaries, and improving teaching for all levels of expertise, and in all contexts or environments. We want to prepare and support teaching, and we want to use technology to improve learning. This blending requires technology to become an integral element for professional development.

Blending technology and professional development requires a conscious and deliberate use of technology - in the context of teaching and learning. Faculty want to see HOW things should be used in a classroom, with particular teaching strategies, and for specific learning types. Technological skills will need to be identified - what technology is available in the classroom? Is there a "standard" technology for each classroom? Are skills learned in small groups, with peers, or one-on-one to allow faculty to learn skills that they need? Technology should be integrated, because it does improve teaching and learning. Modeling the contemporary technologies available, teachers are reaching students who have grown up with technology.

Faculty development should be topical, need-based, and focused on results - improving teaching and learning. Faculty development builds community. Faculty development involves technology in a classroom environment and demonstrates best practices.

The presence of technology requires us to find a way to integrate it into our curriculum. We realize that technology depends on the user (faculty), audience (students), and message (curriculum). Selecting the "RIGHT" technology takes time and experience. Knowing how to use it best requires practice and patience. Being successful requires support.

1 comment:

BrianJ said...

I enjoyed your posting. I am currently in a graduate course where we are studying this topic of involving technology in staff development. From the little experience that I have I can see how blogging can be very useful for teachers to gather new information and methods to reach there students. Do you believe it is possible to get a group of 25 year veteran teachers to learn and start using technology like blogs and wiks?

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