- Over the years, there has been numerous calls for the reform of teacher professional development (Darling-Hammond, 1997; Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Hawley & Valli, 1999; Lewis, 2002; National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 2003; Wilson & Berne, 2001).
- The need for providing teachers with on-going high quality PD.
PD today are still based mostly on:
- “deficit model of knowledge” (Hawkes, 2000 p. 268).
- top down approaches
- based on lectures
- with limited opportunities for the teachers to collaborate, share experiences, and build new knowledge [Adsit, J. N(2004). p. 7]
Adsit(2004) argues that professional development for teachers opportunities for “social collaborations”(Marx et al., 1998) among “robust” peer supported networks.
new models of professional development have attempted to harness the power of computers and Web-based technologies to foster the following:
- Teacher change and improvement (Ellett et al., 2002; Marx et al., 1998; Soloway et al., 1996)
- Collaboration and community-building (Hawkes, 2000a; Moore & Barab, 2002; Schlager, Fusco, & Schank, 2002)
- Professional development reform efforts (Gross et al., 2001; National Staff Development Council & National Institute for Community Innovations, 2001; Wang & Hartley, 2003)
A growing body of evidence points to benefits of using technology to provide PD programs( e.g: TAPPED IN):
- Reduced teacher isolation ( e.g: when using electronic communication) [Dimock & Rood, 1996; Hawkes 2000a; Jinks & Lord, 1990; Ruopp, Gal, Drayton, & Pfister, 1993],
- Access to a broad range of resources for improving teaching and learning [Ball, 1998; Ellett et al., 2002]
- Opportunities for collaboration and professional growth [Fusco, Gelbach, & Schlager, 2000; Schlager & Schank, 1997; Schlager et al., 2002].