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Teaching Online in Texts and Technology

Best Practices

Quality deployment of technology within the K12 school system requires teachers to embrace the rapid paced world of emerging technology. They must learn to use the tools themselves before they can implement them successfully in the classroom. Some teachers welcome the challenge, while others struggle to adapt.

Best practices for professional development require in-service and pre-service programs to be relevant, with an expectation that the improvement be long-term, ongoing, applicable to the daily classroom, and with timely, targeted feedback. Unfortunately, myriad problems prevent this from happening, including the inability of technology specialists to understand the classroom environment, the unwillingness of teachers to accept the need for the technology, the frequent failure of technology which leads to distrust, the frenetic pace of technological changes, and, perhaps most critically, the lack of time for professional development.

Author Profile

Linda Garrison is a librarian in Pinellas County, Florida. She received her M.L.I.S. from Florida State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Text and Technology program at the University of Central Florida.

Improving Collaboration between Technology Specialists and Teachers

This resource guide presents the issues, posits questions, and offers solutions to the difficulties frequently encountered when implementing technology in the P12 school environment. Resource formats include articles, books, case studies, conference proceedings, dissertations, panel discussions, and websites.

Articles

Evans, Jennell. “8 Tips for Effective Virtual Teams: How to work with people that you rarely see.” Psychology Today Online. 4 April 2011. Web.  19 February 2014. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smartwork/201104/8-tips-effective-virtual-teams.

This short article discusses the difficulties of working virtually and how to overcome some of the barriers. Because of time and cost constraints, pre-service and in-service teacher training is beginning to rely on virtual teamwork, including group skype sessions, webinars, and videos. This will require teachers and technology integration specialists to master the art of working effectively in a virtual environment.

Mumtazz, Shazzia. “Factors Affecting Teachers' Use of Information and Communications Technology: a Review of the Literature.” Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education. 9.3 (2006): 319-342. 18 February 2014. DOI: 10.1080/14759390000200096. http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rtpe19

This study found the factors which influence teachers’ decisions to use technology in the classroom include not only access to and quality of resources, but also ease of use, incentives to change, support within their school environment, school and national polices, professional  development and formal computer training.

Strauss, Valerie. “What Teachers Need and Reformers Ignore: Time to Collaborate.” The Washington Post Online.  11 April 2013. Web. 23 February 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/11/what-teachers-need-and-reformers-ignore-time-to-collaborate/

An NCLE survey shows that in schools where educators report that professional collaboration is routinely practiced, trust among educators is high, and new learning about effective practices is shared much more rapidly. The uptake is that principals, school system leaders, and instructional coaches should engage in collaborative decision-making in order to create real change in student learning results.

Wang, Jian and Hartley, Kendall. “Video Technology as a Support for Teacher Education Reform.”  Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 11(1), 2003: 105-138. 17 February 2014. http://www.editlib.org/p/17791 Video-technology and teacher education reform is the focus, including specific application of video-technology in support of pre-service teachers. The goal is to transform their beliefs and acquire pedagogical content knowledge. With the high rate of resistance to technology by teachers, this approach to changing attitudes could play an important role in improving technology acceptance.

Books

Fullan, Michael. Stratosphere: Integrating Technology, Pedagogy, and Change Knowledge. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2012. Print.

While not directed at the IT/Teacher relationship, this book is a review of the fast-paced world of emerging technologies. Fullan argues that the inevitable influence of technology on teaching and learning must not be resisted, but rather embraced and applied in meaningful ways to positively impact school classrooms. http://www.michaelfullan.ca/ is the website of the author, which offers much more than what the book covers.

Kise, Jane. Differentiated Coaching: A Framework for Helping Teachers Change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2006. Print.

In this book, Kise promotes a fundamental belief in the other person's ability to generate solutions and continuously improve and grow. It is a framework for acknowledging differences in adults and shows us how to use this framework to address these differences to support reform. Countering technology’s tendency to minimize face-to-face relationships, which unfortunately can increase unnecessary antagonism between IT and teachers, acknowledging IT’s expertise AND teachers’ intimate knowledge of the classroom may be the solution.

Case Studies

Kabakci Yurdakul, Isil. “An Evaluative Case Study on Professional Competency of Preservice Information Technology Teachers.” Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology - TOJET, 10.3 (July 2011): 33-53. Eric. Web. 23 February 2014. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ945028.

A study conducted in Turkey found that pre-service IT teachers, while qualified to teach the technological tools, and competent in the preparation and use of instructional materials, the implementation of assessment and evaluation activities, these teachers had a low level of competency in the use of technological concepts and in the observation of students' development. While this study takes place outside of the country of interest, school administrators should take note of the implications.

“Policies, Infrastructure, Training Resources from a 1:1 Laptop Initiative.” 2012. Website. 23 February 2014. http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/Domain/567  

This website is a real-life case study of a one-to-one laptop implementation at the Kent School District (WA). This site highlights the importance of professional development. The school district employs just-in-time training, instructional support, ongoing staff development, workshops, and a technology expo to ensure their teachers are prepared for the transition to a 21st technology-based learning. Included are links to online professional development resources as well as a complete road map to the actual process of becoming a 1-to-1 laptop school.   

Conference Proceedings

Schmidt, Denise, Baran, Evrim, Thompson, Ann, Koehler, Matthew, Punya, Mishra, and Shin, Tae. “Examining Preservice Teachers' Development of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge in an Introductory Instructional Technology Course.” Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference.  Chesapeake, VA: AACE, 2009: 4145-4151. Web. 23 February 2014. http://www.editlib.org/p/31308.

This paper describes a study that was conducted to assess how elementary education and early childhood education pre-service teachers used TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) in an introductory course to help them embed technology into the classroom.  The TPACK framework acknowledges the complex nature of technology integration for teachers which is critical for a successful implementation of technology in the classroom.

Dissertations

Hooie, Jennifer. “The Dual Role of Instructor/Designer: Use of Instructional Design Practices in the Design of K-12 Online Instruction.” Diss. Capella University, 2011. Web. February 18, 2014. https://illiad.net.ucf.edu/illiad.dll?Action=10&Form=75&Value=564981

This study found that 95% of instructional designers are not formally trained in ID. The goal was to identify the instructional design practices implemented and excluded by the instructor/designer. There was no consistency in implementation of ID, and instructor/designers doubted their control in the design process.  

Panel Discussions

Byers, Al, Hickey, Dan, Rasmussen, Claudette, Rominger, Ruth and Sheninger, Eric. “Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due.” CEM Archives. Web. 23 February 2014. http://connectededucators.org/forum-kickoff-giving-credit-where-credit-is-due    

The panelists in this discussion address the questions of how professional development s can be supported, incentivized, documented, and recognized, what schools and districts can do to provide support, and how informal recognition systems like badges help teachers learn.

Websites

http://www.edutopia.org/blogs/tag/classroom-technology  The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2014. Web. 23 Feb 2014.

The edutopia website includes a wide array of subject areas, such as new-teacher support and teacher leadership as well as a complete section on technology integration. As professional development becomes more and more the responsibility of the teacher, these types of websites will be invaluable. An article of particular interest to readers of this research guide is Anne Obrien’s  “School Leaders: Guiding Teachers into the Digital Age,” in which she discusses how teachers can become “technology masters”  by implementing seven guiding principles, including administrative guideposts, an adaptive culture, a good technology team, and measurement tools. Another must-read article is Matthew Farber's Badges and the Common Core, a discussion about how game-based learning can be used with faculty to encourage them to learn new technologies.

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