Background: Presently, models of professional development aimed at supporting teachers’ technology integration efforts are often short and decontextualized. With many schools across the country utilizing standards that require students to engage with digital tools, a situative model that supports building teachers’ knowledge within their classrooms is needed.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study was to examine how teachers’ instructional planning and delivery, as well as their perceptions of their proficiency with technology integration, changed when they participated in a model of technology-focused professional development titled the Technology Integration Planning Cycle Model of Professional Development. The researchers also examined the relationship between students’ (N = 1,335) digital literacy skills and teachers’ participation in the Technology Integration Planning Cycle Model of Professional Development.
Program: The TIPC Model of PD comprised whole-group professional development sessions, long-range planning, access to instructional coaches, professional learning communities, digital tool resources, observations with reflections, and a comprehensive project website.
Research Design: This mixed-methods study combined numerous quantitative and qualitative data sources and data analysis techniques to answer the research questions. Pre- and posttest comparisons were used to examine changes in students’ digital literacy skills and changes in teachers’ perceptions of their pedagogical expertise for integrating digital technology. Daily diaries, classroom observations, interviews, and field notes were analyzed to understand the role of the professional development in teachers’ instructional planning and their perceptions of their proficiency.
Findings: Results indicate that students in classrooms with participant teachers performed significantly better on a digital literacy assessment, the Survey of Internet Use and Online Reading, than did control group students. Selective exposure to digital tools, professional learning communities, and opportunities for reflection were the most transformative elements of this model for teachers. Teachers were better prepared to envision their roles in the classroom and the purposes for integrating technology because of the TIPC framework.
Conclusions: The results of this study provide important implications for professional development, particularly in regard to (1) providing a model in which to ground discussion and application of technology integration; (2) situating digital tools within context-driven instruction; and (3) using multiple modes of teacher engagement.