Author

Lori Latham

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael M. Grant

Abstract

The purpose of this action research was to identify and describe teachers’ needs and preferences and administrator perceptions of teachers’ needs and preferences for educational technology-focused professional development at a public southeastern high school in a suburban school district in order to make recommendations for future professional development. In our fast-paced, ever-changing digital landscape, professional development should emphasize the effective use of educational technology while also catering to goals and ability levels of educators. Teachers are tasked with instilling digital literacy skills with their students but need quality professional development to do so. This study focused on two research questions. This first question sought to determine teachers’ needs and preferences for educational technology-focused professional development at Lakeside High School. The second question explored administrators’ perceptions of teacher needs and preferences as it pertains to educational technology-focused professional development at Lakeside High School.

This study incorporated a mixed-methods approach in order to triangulate data. Participants in this study were teachers and administrators from Lakeside High School in a suburban school district. Quantitative data were collected from teacher surveys concerning educational technology-focused professional development. Qualitative data were collected from three teacher-focus groups and two administrator-focus groups. Quantitative data indicates that teacher-participants are neutral about their experiences with educational technology-focused professional development, hesitant to incorporate new technology tools, and do not integrate 21st century skills very often in their classrooms. Qualitative data revealed that educational technology-focused professional development does not meet the needs and preferences of teacher-participants. Teachers should have time for content-focused collaboration and practice time, sessions that are differentiated, and tools modeled for them. Future professional development should incorporate the essential conditions set forth by the International Society for Technology in Education (2020). Implications for future research would be to evaluate the integration of ISTEs (2020) essential conditions for future professional development.

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