Educators and the Internet: A case study of professional development

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Computers & Education, ISSN: 0360-1315, Vol: 24, Issue: 3, Page: 221-228

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Schrum, Lynne
Elsevier BV; NSUWorks
Computer Science; Social Sciences; Education
article description
The purpose of this research was to document a teacher education program's initial effort to introduce telecommunications to inservice educators, to determine support and technological needs, and to inform policy for future practice. This was accomplished through a case study of one graduate seminar. The voices and stories of these individuals provide rich descriptions of practicing educators. These educators taught a variety of grades and subject areas, and began with varying levels of telecommunications experience. They wanted to be on the cutting edge of the information explosion, feel personally competent, provide new skills to their students, and create career opportunities. These learners were excited and enthusiastic about introducing telecommunications to their colleagues and students, however, once they returned to school, obstacles interfered with the use of their new found skills. The major obstacles were lack of time, access to equipment, and resources for implementation. Although they were frustrated by the obstacles, most have continued to challenge the status quo and find ways in which to continue using telecommunications. This research provides insights into the factors necessary for encouraging and supporting educators in their use of information technologies. Widespread efforts must include post-secondary institutions, school districts, and the larger communities. It is essential that administrators be involved at every level of implementation so that they recognize the benefits of providing support and resources. Undergraduate and graduate education coursework must incorporate telecommunications and promote its thoughtful integration into mainstream activities.