Professional development the key to integrating technology

Teachers can make or break the successful integration of new technologies into schools. Deborah Lowther and Steven Ross explain the issues, and how professional development is vital

TEACHERS ARE PIVOTAL CATALYSTS for changing traditional teaching to 21st century practices. Yet, teacher beliefs and their readiness to integrate technology often hinder the needed transformation. This article discusses the findings of recent research on teacher beliefs and their readiness to integrate, and how professional development supports changed practices.

What we know
● The willingness of teachers to use technology depends on their own beliefs of its effectiveness.
● Many teachers lack personal experience with a 21st century learning environment.
● Well-structured and adaptive professional development has been shown to bridge this gap, and prepare teachers to change their practice.

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October 2010