The ECT Lecture Series hosted Dr. Marcia Linn on November 6, 2009.
Teaching with technology offers phenomenal advantages for teachers and students. Teachers can take advantage of the rich information about student progress available in embedded assessments when using technology-enhanced instruction. Our recent research compares two approaches to professional development. The Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) center implemented a targeted approach where teachers request the professional development support they need. These teachers generally requested help with technology in the first year, help using visualizations in the second year, and help with inquiry teaching in the third year. The Mentored and Online Development of Educational Leaders in Science (MODELS) project implemented a mentored approach where an on-site mentor coordinated school-wide planning, teachers reflected on student learning data, and teachers participated in a summer workshop to customize instruction. Analysis of results suggests that inquiry experience, collaboration with other teachers, and opportunity to customize can lead to changes in teacher practice that impact student learning. These studies also illustrate the importance of support from the school principal. They suggest directions for design of tools to support teachers for classroom management and communications with students.