Get Ahead with the World Wide Web of Teacher Development
Technology isn’t just expanding the possibilities for teaching youth – it’s also building up how teachers themselves are trained. Technology is not only influencing the education of students – online resources are being ever the more incorporated into professional education, too.
To save money and time, and capitalize on the technology boom, many school districts in the United States are turning to online professional development for teachers, as a viable alternative to traditional face-to-face training. The impetus for online professional development stems from the need to accommodate teachers’ busy schedules while also providing them with materials and information that may not be available in their district.
At first glance, these programs seem like a godsend to districts struggling to provide quality professional development to their students. But little research has been done on best practices in or the effectiveness of online professional development programs. Many districts issue surveys to measure professional development effectiveness, but unfortunately this practice is unreliable. Also, more research must be done concerning the design and implementation of these programs to ensure that they are operating efficiently and positively impacting student learning. Needless to say, the jury is still out on these programs, although they do seem to hold some promise. That will likely change, however, as more education moves online, and as online development tools are refined.
Has your teacher education included any online resources? If not, what technology is available to you now to help you continue to grow and learn? Don’t be afraid to seek out new tools for your own educational development, as well as that of your students!