Online teacher professional development is becoming more prevalent as the ability to harness technology to bring teachers and resources together becomes easier., Research is needed, however, to determine the effectiveness of models and to share practices that increase teacher knowledge of content and pedagogy. This study examines how a hybrid professional development model impacted secondary teachers’ implementation of handheld graphing technology through an analysis of the participants’ perceived growth in skill with the technology and their perceived ability to provide support to other teachers using the same technology. Participant surveys as well as follow-up observations and interviews of selected participants indicated an increase in handheld graphing technology use prompted by participation in the professional development workshop.
Early field experiences, or those that come early in a teacher’s preparation before more formalized opportunities like practicum and student teaching, can provide a venue for pre service teachers to practice technology-specific instructional decision-making and reflective practice. Although research exists on the potential roles of field experiences in teacher education, little research exists on early field experiences, especially those taking place in informal contexts. Moreover, little research exists examining how those early field experiences in informal spaces might shape preservice teachers’ use of digital learning tools. To address this gap, an inquiry was conducted to better understand teachers’ early field work experiences in informal science contexts and the use of formative assessment technologies. Researchers used a mixed methods design to examine how early field experiences might support authentic and robust opportunities for teachers in training. Results suggested that technology-focused early field experiences can serve as confirmatory events for preservice teachers, afford them opportunities to apply theory and content knowledge to practice, and contend with issues related to technology integration, instructional planning, classroom management, and even attendance within an informal context. Findings could be used to improve the design of early field experiences for preservice teachers, and facilitate the scaffolding of the opportunities to help them better integrate technologies into those experiences.
This qualitative study examined in-service teachers who were enrolled in a graduate level course that focused on new literacies and the integration of technology with literacy. They also taught children enrolled in a summer writing camp as part of the course. The authors followed the teachers into their classrooms once the graduate course ended to see if and how they were integrating technology. The primary focus of this article is on ways some of the teachers began to integrate technology into their instruction. An additional finding was that testing was perceived to be an especially challenging barrier to technology integration.