Developing Highly Qualified Teachers
All parents want their childrentaught by highly qualifiedteachers. However, this requiresboth a solid pre-service educationprogram and ongoing professional developmentto keep teachers’ skills up to date.To ensure highly qualified teachers forevery student, teachers need access to theright learning opportunities that meettheir needs, and a mechanism to ensurethat they have the support, time, andknowledge to implement what they learn.
In the past, some teachers may not havehad access to ongoing professional developmentdue to their location or time limitations.Fortunately, technology eliminatestime and location problems, while improvingprofessional development by deliveringhigh-quality content and support toteachers anytime, anywhere. Educatorsnationwide can now rely on the Internet andvideo conferencing technologies to bringpeople together to talk about commonproblems and find unique solutions.
EXAMPLES OF IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY IN SCHOOLS
North Carolina’s IMPACT Model Schools Grant. This Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grant provides personnel, connectivity, hardware, software, and professional development to improve student achievement. Acollaborative model, the program focuses on using technology as a tool toencourage authentic, project-based learning that incorporates 21st centurylearning skills into all curriculum areas.
In a time when more than half of all teachers leave the field within their first three years, teachers who are scheduled to retire often choose to stay in these IMPACT schools, while others request transfers into them, and new teachersclamor to be hired by them. “These teachers like the way technology ischanging the way they teach, and the enthusiasm with which their studentsapproach learning,” says Frances Bryant Bradburn, director of instructionaltechnology for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Increasing teacher retention in Maryland. To provide additional support fornew teachers, Prince George’s County has utilized Intel’s Teach to the Future(www.intel.com/education/teach) program to provide extensive technologyintegration training for teachers, and the opportunity for teachers to earn graduate credit. Associated with Towson University, the first cohort of 125 beginning teachers is demonstrating a 94 percent retention rate.
This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2005 issue of THE Journal.