What Matters in #edtech Professional Development

Three dimensions appear to be relevant in determining how to organize and deliver professional development. First, the primacy of the technology. If participants in the professional development are expected to (and they themselves expect to) leave with the ability to operate hardware or software, then technology of the prime purpose, and organizers approach the activity as a training exercise. 

Second, the role of the technology expert. When technology is the primary focus, the technology expert is the dispenser of knowledge and guides the educator to correct procedures. As technology become less central to the learning, the role of the technology expert become one of clarifying procedures and training for needs that emerge from educators’ questions. 

Third, the primacy of the students in the focus. Some professional development for digital tools can be conducted with no reference to the students in classrooms. In these types of activities, all educators can be in the same sessions and learning the same things. In other situations, the professional development activity is focused intently on the experience of the student, and even is done to improve the students’ experience based on their feedback.