Professional Development | News

Groups Commence 3-Year Research Effort into K-12 Teacher Professional Development

The eMINTS National Center at the University of Missouri is partnering with CDW-G on a three-year research effort exploring technology training for K-12 teachers.

The research will look at 58 school districts in Missouri, focusing on the effective use of technology by educators teaching grades 7 and 8 in "high-need rural districts," according to CDW-G.

The project is dividing classrooms randomly into one of three groups:

  • A control group;
  • A group that receives professional development through the eMINTS program for two years; and
  • A group that receives professional development through the eMINTS program for two years plus one year through the Intel Teach program.

For groups 2 and 3, about 2,700 Lenovo notebooks were distributed to students and more than 200 to teachers. Students will use their notebooks for researching, writing, and other activities in language arts, math, science, and social science. Teachers will use their notebooks as part of classroom instruction.

"Using high-quality research design in a controlled experiment, we hope to finally understand the link between the use of technology in the classroom, technology-focused professional development for teachers, and student performance," said Monica Beglau, executive director of eMINTS, in a statement released today. "School districts will be able to use the results to confidently integrate technology in their classrooms in ways that bring measurable results in student achievement."

Funding is being provided through an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) award. i3 is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Education that awards competitive grants designed to encourage programs that boost student achievement and college readiness, improve science education, turn around low-performing schools, and support teacher/administrator effectiveness.

Teacher progress will be measured annually through surveys and classroom observation. Students will be tracked through state assessments, 21st century skills assessments, and surveys.

"Today, we have qualitative evidence of the value of technology to student learning, but we lack quantitative data," said Julie Smith, vice president for K-12 education, CDW-G, also in a prepared statement. "eMINTS' research will provide hard data and a better understanding of how school districts can effectively use technology to improve student engagement and performance."

According to CDW-G, data collection will be complete in 2014. Results will be published in early 2015.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .