Essay on professional development for teachers

Published: 2018-03-02 13:21:40
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Teachers development

Being a qualitative case study, this study employs the case study strategy of inquiry to examine the contextual relationship between the teacher’s experiences and the real life situation, which in this case, is the 1:1 technology integration in their high school. As a classroom teacher, I am surrounded by social relationships between my students and myself. For this reason, this qualitative research study of the implementation of 1:1 technology in the classroom will explore the ways teachers perceive the use of laptop technology in their classroom and the benefits it offers through the everyday experiences of learning and teaching with technology.

Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the current experiences of high school teachers in a small rural high school in South Eastern, Michigan, upon the implementation of a 1:1 laptop instructional model. The high school received a 1.5 million dollar grant to implement the 1:1 initiative a year before the beginning of the study, which serves as an ideal time to examine how the technology impacted their teaching, and explore how teacher roles are changing.

The methodology used for this particular research will take a qualitative approach with a purposive sampling of teachers' development using 1:1 laptop programs in their classroom. Qualitative methodology is selected because of the power to interpret practices that transform the world (Creswell, 2013). In this study, these practices are such as the use of laptops by teachers and students for teaching and learning where each student had access to a laptop 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Throughout my teaching experience, I have witnessed a continued expansion of technology growth in modern schools. As an avid technology learner, I have been interested in the growth of technology use in the classroom. The 21st-century classroom is undergoing a significant change in both teaching processes and student learning processes as classrooms are becoming more technology streamlined. The computer labs filled with desktop computers are being replaced by technology-rich classrooms filled with laptops that each student has for their own personal use. The purpose of this research is to examine the teaching skills, traits and influences that the 1:1 technology initiative has on teachers in small rural midwestern high school.

Background

The background of 1:1 learning is to enhance active learning and to keep students up-to-date of the 21st-century technology skills. The 1:1 model is the key to successful teaching of competencies, which helps lead to active learning and promotes digital technology skills, as well as fostering the critical thinking skills that students require. Teachers have always tirelessly struggled to create differentiated lessons and find materials that offer a variety of learning opportunities for students, and 1:1 technology requires that teachers can manage the needs of the students requiring a more versatile learning curriculum (Babell & O’Dwyer, 2010). The demands placed upon the teacher start with acquiring and mastering the laptop itself, and continue to learning how the laptop with be utilized with the curriculum each teacher must teach.

Theory of One to One Technology in Schools

Many theorists view computer technology in the hands of students as something that can be life-changing. Over the recent years, considerable discussions regarding the topic of significant interest in the development of classroom technology have been done. According to computer scientist Seymour Papert, the access to computers dates back to when he was a boy, in the late 1930’s. Recently, Papert compared a classroom with limited computer access to an older classroom where students shared limited pencils and paper, yet were expected to achieve high volumes of daily work (Storz & Hoffman, 2013).

So how do computers become integrated into classrooms where students have complete access? What is “universal computing?” Universal computing describes how classrooms computer use can be integrated into student’s daily life and within the environment within which they learn and live every day (Bebell & Kay, 2010)

State Initiative

I will specifically explore Michigan’s Freedom to Learn 1:1 wireless laptop initiatives. Rick Johnson, Michigan’s former Speaker of the House, brought the Freedom to Learn initiative to fruition. Mr. Johnson was diligent with his plan to implement the program in an attempt to increase increased motivation and excitement, improve attendance, foster higher student achievement, change teaching styles, increase collaboration among teachers, and encourage greater involvement from parents.

The FTL program has several goals. These goals are such as;

·        Improvement of student achievement

·        Fostering of efficient learning environments that are intended to improve student learning and success

·        Bridge the digital divide, providing universal access to technology

·        Provide students in Michigan with the skills necessary to learn in the 21st-century workforce.

·        Empower teachers to teach and share ideas beyond the classroom setting; and

·        Provide parents with the tools that enhance their becoming more involved in their children's education

Based on my research questions for this study I will focus the initial interview on the teachers’ background and experiences. It is my hope that the initial interview will create connections between myself as a teacher and the high school teachers. I will also establish that I am examining the progress of the 1:1 laptop initiative and how it is affecting the future of their students. My classroom observations will examine certain components of the Teachers Technology Progression protocol to determine teacher and student use of technology. The second set of interview questions will examine my reflections of the teacher practices I observed during my time spent with the teachers in their classroom.

Aim of the Teachers Development Study

The core aim of this research is to investigate the teacher’s real-life experiences in a small rural high school in South Eastern, Michigan as they implement the 1:1 technology in their classroom setting.

Research Questions

i.    How does the 1:1 technology initiative impact the skills, traits, and tools of a high school teacher?

ii.    How do teachers and students in a high school classroom utilize technology?

iii.    What is the 1:1 effect on the teaching process?

Teachers face an overwhelming amount of responsibilities that impacts their students learning. With the added responsibility of implementing the 1:1 technology initiative I am anticipating gaining a keen understanding of the teachers' experience with the one-to-one technology integration that is now integrated into the school.

Qualitative Research Approach

Conducting a qualitative research involves either the explicit or implicit description of the purpose of the qualitative research, the role of the researcher as well as the stages of the study. Additionally, a qualitative research approach seeks to understand a given research problem based on the perspective of the local population being studied. This particular study uses the case study as the qualitative strategy of inquiry.

sheldon

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