The Need for more In-House PD
There is a growing need for in-house professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
The research shows that while professional development and learning networks enhance teaching practices and support improved student academic achievement professional development opportunities does not keep pace. The National Staff Development Council in the USA launched a research study with The Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education that compared teacher professional development data between 2004 and 2008. The findings reported less professional development opportunities for teachers in 2008 than in 2004 even though sustained professional development has been shown to improve student achievement (Wei, Darling-Hammond & Adamson, 2010). The teachers surveyed in the study further claimed that training in teaching with computers was one of their priority PD topics (Wei et al.).
Technology use in education is expanding, with Allen and Seaman (2008) reporting an annual increase in online course enrollments between 2002 and 2007, including a 12% increase from 2006 to 2007 alone. Allen and Seaman further reported (2009) a 17% increase in students taking online courses from between 2007 to 2008, and one in four higher education students have now taken at least one online course. The trends of increased distance education and student demand of technology in education leads to an expanded need to improve professional development centered on professional and effective educational technology use.
Regardless of training programs, faculty members lag in adopting higher tech tools (presentation software, digital imaging, video) over low-tech (Internet searching, electronic mail) (Ertmer, 2005). While studies (Cocciolo, 2010; Wheeler, 2009, 2010; Yan, 2008) have provided evidence of the benefits to education through the use of emerging technologies in learning environments, it is noted that they are not using technology in an effective way that students perceive as useful to their educational success (Keengwe, 2007), or not adopting new emerging technologies in education at all (Ajjan & Hartshorne, 2008). Finally, in the Middle East there are less educational technology professional development opportunities than in many other regions of the world.
Therefore, open journals, workshops, PD, and networking that promotes sharing of best practices and connections among professionals through professional workshops would support improved teaching and learning practices.
Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2008). Staying the course: Online education in the United States, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.sloanconsortium.org/sites/default/files/staying_the_course-2.pdf
Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2009). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States, 2009. Retrieved from http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/pdf/learningondemand.pdf
Cocciolo, A. (2010). Can Web 2.0 enhance community participation in an institutional repository?: The case of PocketKnowledge at Teachers College, Columbia University. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36, 304-312. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2010.05.004
Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 25-39.
Keengwe, J. (2007). Faculty integration of technology into instruction and students’ perceptions of computer technology to improve student learning. Journal of Information Technology Education, 6, 169-180. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3220231)
Wei, R., C., Darling-Hammond, L., Adamson, F. (2010). Professional development in the United States: Trends and Challenges. The Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Retrieved from http://www.learningforward.org/stateproflearning.cfm
Wheeler, S. (2009). On using wiki as a tool for collaborative online blended learning. In Handbook of research on Web 2.0, 3.0, and X.0; technologies, business and social applications (Vol. 2, pp. 511-521). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Wheeler, S. (2010). Open content, open learning 2.0: Using wikis and blogs in higher education. In Changing cultures in higher education: Moving ahead to future learning (pp. 103-114). New York, NY: Springer. doi:10.1007/
Yan, J. (2008). Social technology as a new medium in the classroom. New England Journal of Higher Education, 22(4), 27, 29-30. Retrieved from ERIC database. (EJ794242)
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