Professional Development to Enhance Teachers' Practices in Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as Cognitive Tools: Lessons Learned from a Design-Based Research Study

Technology integration in K-12 classrooms is usually overly teacher-centered and has insufficient impact on students' learning, especially in enhancing students' higher-order cognitive skills. The purpose of this project is to facilitate science teachers' use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as cognitive tools to shift their practices from traditional teacher-centered methods to constructivist, student-centered ones. This paper describes the outcomes and lessons learned from an application of design-based research (DBR) in the implementation and refinement of a teacher professional development (PD) program that is a key component of the overall project. This DBR study involved 25 middle-school science teachers from 24 schools whose implementation of cognitive tools with their students in science classrooms and virtually through a social networking site were observed over four years. A mixed-methodology was utilized to examine the impact of the cognitive tools intervention on teachers' classroom practices and students' development of new literacy skills. Identifying reusable design principles related to technology integration was another focus of the DBR study. The results revealed teachers' positive changes in their classroom practices by gradually allowing students to take control over the use of technology, and positive impact on students' ICT skills and science learning. Design principles for future professional development programs aimed at preparing teachers to adopt a cognitive tools approach are described.

Wang, S.-K., Hsu, H.-Y., Reeves, T., & Coster, D. (2014). Professional Development to Enhance Teachers' Practices in Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as Cognitive Tools: Lessons Learned from a Design-Based Research Study. Computers & Education, 79, 101-115. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2014.07.006

Year: 
2014