Teacher Experiences and Technology-Based Professional Development
Effectiveness of professional development to integrate technology into classroom practice often relies on the attitudes, experiences, and engagement of teachers. This paper aims to explore a correlation between perceptions of strategies that impact technology-based professional development and obstacles to its successful implementation. Research sought to determine elements that make professional development effective in the eyes of teachers, so that they may be more apt to use what they learn in their actual classroom practice. It draws upon TPACK and UTAUT frameworks, that describe professional development practices that allow teachers to implement learned skills into the classroom and to predict technology usage. With these frameworks, a more specified system of professional development to support acceptance of technology into daily practice can be recommended. This study looks at the variables of a) time spent teaching, b) level of education, c) knowledge/use of computers, d) class preparation, and e) technology seminars of survey participants, to determine what demographical characteristics may have an impact on certain belief patterns surrounding professional development and technology use. Data collected from a survey completed by 61 elementary school teachers in the Republic of Serbia analyzed years teaching, education level, technology use, knowledge, and training experiences, and related those to experiences with professional development and implementation of technology into the classroom. To explore possible correlations and to measure strength of the relationship between variables, a non-parametric Spearman coefficient was used. This study found that educational and practice experiences using technology, do correlate with self-efficacy, willingness to use technology, and active resistance of professional development experiences. The results call for more technology support and communities of collaboration to implement professional development and may help educational leaders develop effective technology-based professional development programs.
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