Teacher Professional Development for Schools with 1to1 Digital Device Programs

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Through research and experience, I believe teacher pedagogy changes after a 1to1 digital device program is implemented into a school. My research, suggests that changes in teaching and instructional practice, in relation to the improved availability and variety of teaching resources, student activities, the personalised learning of students, collaboration amongst students and communication with the world outside the classroom takes place in most classrooms. In addition, a more constructivist approach to teaching  occurs, with a shift from teacher-centred to student-centred instructional practices. Students in 1to1 digital device schools have become self-directed learners with the opportunity to work at their own pace which has allowed teachers to spend more time facilitating in the classroom. My research also indicated that student ICT skills improved with a one-to-one digital device program, especially in the areas of digital literacy, creativity and information handling. Furthermore, the use of digital devices in the classroom, led to an increase in confidence of students with there overall application and use of ICT.

As a result of the changes in pedagogical practice I believe the role of a senior leader is to ensure that a corresponding ICT professional development program is put in place to ensure that teachers are adequately trained and supported to meet the needs of teaching in a one-to-one digital device school. In addition, senior leaders should plan the professional development program based around a regular audit of both student learning requirements and the assessed ICT skills of teachers. I would also recommend that in order to sustain the on-going requirements of the one-to-one student digital device program, senior leaders need to provide adequate time for professional learning and move away from a skill based training model, focusing instead on integrating ICT into the subject curriculums.

Implications to schools:

The findings from my enquiry support the importance of the senior leaders’ role in providing a provision for ICT professional development in order to ensure successful teaching in a one-to-one student digital device program. My current research confirms the premise that by simply putting laptops in a classroom without relevant professional development will not lead to improved student learning and will ultimately result in failure. Therefore, I believe it is necessary for senior leaders to consider the style and type of pedagogy that enables teaching and learning to take place. Teachers should have the ICT skills acquired through professional learning to adapt to changes in pedagogy in order to improve student learning in a one-to-one digital device classroom.

Furthermore a one-to-one digital device school should have a robust technology infrastructure and experienced technical and instructional support. Therefore, I believe it is necessary that senior leaders ensure that the technical infrastructure is in place, maintained and kept up to date to meet the changing needs of instructional practices in a one-to-one student digital device school.

There are several factors for school leadership to consider in developing a successful one-to-one student digital device school, one of which is to nurture a technology culture where the school leaders actively model the use of technology. Leadership that promotes technology usage and develops a professional development program that supports teachers will lead to a better integration of technology for improved student teaching and learning. I believe that it is ultimately the responsibility of the Principal (Administrator) and the school leadership team to implement a vision for technology integration by providing professional development that meets the needs of teachers and students by developing and putting in place an on-going school evaluation plan.20140916_111937

My Recommendations:

Senior Leaders (Administrators) should instigate:

  1. An on-going regular review and audit of both the teachers’ skill abilities and the students’ classroom laptop learning needs should be undertaken – this will ultimately inform practice, planning and a professional development schedule.
  1. Since teachers are at different levels of professional learning related to one-to-one laptop teaching, senior leaders need to provide a variety of different professional development opportunities to cater for the varying needs and skill requirements of different teachers.
  1. Professional development in a 1to1 student laptop program should focus more on integrative techniques and best pedagogical practices moving away from an ICT skill based model of professional learning to a more pedagogical integrated learning approach.
  1. Professional development should be on-going, well planned and sustained. It should also be linked to the re-framing and restructuring of the curriculum.
  1. School leadership should provide adequate time for teachers’ professional development, which includes the sharing of good practice, collaborative planning and the trialling of new innovative approaches for teaching and learning.
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