Title

The Role of Technology In Teachers' Professional Development

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Ronald A. Styron, Jr.

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

Professional staff development is a learning process that teachers go through on a yearly basis. The literature confirms that high-quality professional development has a positive effect on teacher and student performances. Living in today's rapidly changing world, teachers have come to the realization that technology is a vital part of their students' lives. The literature also supports teachers' increasing need for online professional training. The purpose of this research study was to determine K-12 teachers' attitudes toward traditional face-to-face professional development and online professional development. The study also investigated teachers' perceived level of support in face-to-face and online professional training. Furthermore, the study examined teachers' attitudes toward utilizing technology as an instructional tool in their classes before and after they participated in online professional development. The researcher surveyed 1,000 K-12 teachers in nine Mississippi public school districts using a questionnaire; quantitative and qualitative information was gathered. The quantitative data revealed a significant difference between teachers' attitudes toward face-to-face and online professional development; teachers had more positive attitudes toward face-to-face professional training. Further, the quantitative data related to teachers' perceived level of support in online and face-to-face professional development revealed significant difference. The results of this study showed that teachers received more support in face-to-face professional development than they did in online professional development. Moreover, the quantitative data related to teachers' attitudes toward utilizing technology as an instructional tool in their classes revealed significant difference. Teachers integrated more technology into their instruction after they participated in online professional training. Furthermore, the results of this study indicated that the majority of teachers reported their willingness to participate in more online professional development programs. The qualitative data suggested that teachers liked how interactive and convenient online professional training was. Moreover, the qualitative data indicated that ample teacher-involvement and teacher-support were needed for online professional development to be more effective.