Of course, change is hard, especially when one is asked to develop new teaching techniques. There is an intimidation level or real fear that needs to be overcome by teachers as evidenced in interviews with teachers, who were awarded for their technology practices (Etmer et. al., 2012). ELB offers quality professional development that helps alleviate this anxiety and influence technology integration. Fear will continue to present itself as educational technology markets grow at a very high rate (Busaidi & Al-Shihi, 2012).
To develop new techniques, 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 with no follow up no longer meet teacher needs, nor does masking school staff meetings as professional development. ELB intends to apply a constructivist approach, implying that professional development should be based on prior knowledge, flexible, collaborative, context-based, and authentically applied (Potter & Rockinson, 2012).
This approach parallels the best practices that Jamerson (2015) unearth in her study: “professional development should be sustained, ongoing, hands-on, job-embedded, scaffolded, differentiated by subject/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 buy into this effort, fully fund it, and provide teachers time to engage in it. Further, professional development should be professionalized, incentivized, 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 offers and includes PD with the purchase of technology because effective professional development can positively influence technology integration (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007).
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.
Prouty, C. (2014). Student engagement: Best practices in teaching in a K-5 blended learning environment (Order No. 3643786). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1622981747). Retrieved from http://libproxy.boisestate.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/docview/1622981747?accountid=9649