Promoting the use of the internet and technology in education is not new. However, the use of technology, especially videos and web-based discussion groups, for teacher professional development is a recent development, spurring interest from state education policy makers, school districts and the technology industry giants. Some examples of these developments and issues to consider are examined in this Topic in Depth. [VF]
This article in the Christian Science Monitor (1) discusses some of the recent developments in web-based teacher professional development resources. The Teachers Network (2) is one example of an organization that identifies and exhibits innovative teacher practices. Teachers are able to watch videos of best practices and discuss pedagogical issues with teachers nationwide (Note that a number of these sites require registration, but the registration is free). Similarly, TAPPED IN" (3) provides space for an international community of education professionals, including K-12 teachers and librarians, professional development staff, teacher education faculty and students, and researchers to engage in professional development programs and informal collaborative activities. The PBS Teacher Source (4) offers over 4000 lesson plans and activities in Arts and Literature, Mathematics, Science, Health and Fitness, Social Studies, Early Childhood, and Library Media. The AECT Project (4), funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers To Use Technology (PT3) grant program (5), has developed web-based tools that provide teachers with technological resources to use in their student assessments and instructional planning. These efforts are all in support of policies and standards developed by several states and organizations that encourage teachers to integrate technology into their instruction. For example, this website (6 ) describes a project of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to develop standards for the uses of technology that foster school improvement. This report by the U.S. Department of Education (7)
df}) reviews the past twenty years of technology policy in education, articulating key themes and approaches taken to integrate technology in education and offers recommendations for ways to support and sustain future investments. This article in EdWeek (8) provides some figures on current statistics for technology use in schools.