A professional development plan helps individuals with the correct procedure followed in achieving their career goals. Project development helps one create strategies and find resources to help them realize their objectives. Integrating technology in schools through professional development enhances the student learning process. Making good use of technology in the Seventy-First High School has created an environment where learners are actively engaged with learning objectives, providing high-quality education, thus maximizing the knowledge and skills for economic job market competition. Further, the technology has been integrated into the school through technology labs, Smartboards, desktops, overhead projectors, and Wi-Fi, to name a few.
In addition, due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the school has made a couple of changes to cope with the situation in the best way possible. These changes compromised the earlier policies and instructions to accommodate a sustainable environment. The changes primarily included learning from home, using smartphones to do assignments, and sending institutions feedback (Vegas & Winthrop, 2022). The new measures resulting from the pandemic outbreak changed the school’s earlier stipulated instructions and policies. A professional development plan has been exhausted in the text, outlining the steps to integrate technology in Seventy-First High School.
Participants’ Needs/ PD Goals
Teachers in this institution have had difficulties handling or applying the use of Google Docs. They have been using software such as PowerPoint on their laptops to perform various duties for a long time. Further, they majored in Microsoft Word in preparing their notes and producing different documents to teach their students. The learners, on the other hand, have been exposed to using google docs through their google classrooms, Chromebooks, and even earbuds, and therefore, it was possible to get teachers to learn how to use google docs due to their interactions with these students.
Descriptions of PD Participants
Teachers in the Seventy-First High School have taught in the school for a long time, with some of them having few years left to retire. They teach different courses, including Science, History, Public Safety, Mathematics, Biology, Career and technical courses , to name a few. Resources are provided for the teachers to facilitate their teaching by the institution, and some of these resources are laptops, overhead projectors, Smartboards, and desktops, among others. In addition, the district provided School-net to support questions and test applications to gauge the students’ performance and know-how about the content.
The teachers requested to be given a timeline for teaching PD since they were committed to other duties. The side duties they hard were club responsibilities, tutoring after school, involvement in-game duties, and programs undertaken after school. Further, they requested information on how to provide names for the Google Docs and create Google Slides, and without forgetting, they wanted information on how to create a spreadsheet. Further, teachers requested to be taught professional development when assembling department meetings for discussions.
Identifying Needs of the Participants
The participants made their needs known during the Google classroom professional development discussion. Moreover, I asked them about some general functions keys of the google documents and realized they were not familiar with the functions of the google documents. In addition, the chair of the CTE Department enlightened me on the difficulties the teachers have with using google documents. Teachers are computer literate, and therefore, it was possible to develop their technology prowess through Google document functions.
Goals of the PD
Teachers get familiar with the practical context of Google documents by inferring a minimum of three actual world contexts. Through the Google document interface, teachers can be allowed to manipulate text in their preferred choice and to share the document with others. Moreover, the participants will automatically know their saved changes in the documents by notification. In addition, setting up page options such as paper size, page orientation, and page margins will be made simpler with google document.
To learn the full scope of applying Google documents formats like spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents. Teachers will be able to ease their work by using spreadsheets to automatically give a sum summation of points scored by the students after inputting the relevant information. Further, quick explanations of classroom work will be the norm for the participants through presentations, enabling the students to grasp the problems they need to solve quickly.
The participants will be able to take complete control of their Google documents by creating and editing the documents. Teachers have engaged their documents in the Document home screen on their laptops or computers by familiarizing the function “New” to start a new document. Furthermore, editing has been made simpler by using a cursor by double-clicking the word and changing the documents. Further, it can undo or redo their actions on the document.
The participants will be able to engage advance functions of the Google document editing without help from any supporting material or even an instructor. Given that teachers already have computer skills, learning the different parts of the Google document became easy. Creating and editing through custom formatting and design becomes easy done independently without assistance from the instructor or through the following materials.
The teachers could narrow it down into the Google documents features, ensuring they fully know its function. They can perform different characters on the text by italicizing, making the writing bold, changing the type of fonts, correct applications of heading, and modifying paragraph settings. Further, the spreadsheet has been made more familiar by dividing cells and changing the style and size of the fonts. In addition, teachers have made the handling of presentations simpler by changing the slide order, making good use of the slide transition, and even adding necessary images to the slides.
Finally, the participants will be able to apply the safety rules in sharing features of Google documents. Online use of or sharing materials should conform to the safety standards to avoid being spoofed by an adversary. Teachers have mastered the protocol of gaining and changing access to documents by sharing through links or allowing the documents to be available to specific users.
Design and Development
Learning contexts, resources, and materials provide reliable information that the participants will experience, learn and apply during the course. Some of the materials used were the print materials in which instructions have been made through an online activity worksheet. Further, presentation materials have been available to the participants tackling how to create online presentations effectively. In addition, Open Educational resources such as textbooks, online articles, and links to online resources have been implemented to enhance teachers’ integration of OERs to facilitate teaching and learning.
Professional development enhances my self-control and improves my capacity to train modern technology websites for teachers. It has brought significant influence, and I am ready to share the experience with mates, staff, and the community. Price (2018) recounts that staff should be provided with a trusted website with valuable content. Further, the procedure I employed enables me to share with teachers the significance of doing research, assessments and executing current strategies for technology websites academic lessons. Brown & Green (2019) asserts that rationalized, satisfactory, and informed instructional design criteria can generate safe results. In addition, by developing viable, valuable professional development courses, I plan to use the required resources to ensure the staff engages the students in required critical thinking courses.
Time and Duration
As suggested by the CTE chairperson, the plan is to execute the professional development lessons for teachers in April or May and during the next semester, 2022-2023, while still students will be home. In light of the professional development, learning objectives, aims, and goals will be established to entice teachers to understand the complete range of the content. In addition to the lessons in the professional development, teachers will be made to learn how to create documents and have the full knowledge of the functions of the Google documents. Roblyer & Hughes (2019) discusses teachers who acknowledge the role of technology in academic settings and society and its significance. The authors further explain how teachers are engrossed in significant collaborations, and relevant operations brought about by the technology through learning to the community building.
The delivery method incorporated a mixed approach to develop learning results, focus on teachers’ performance, and elevate their knowledge of technical apparatus. Teachers will get instructions through brief handouts, demonstrations, quick, illustrative videos, and the provision of presentations through PowerPoint. Furthermore, there will be rewards of letters for completing training for teachers who have demonstrated content, popcorn, yoghurt, and catchphrases. In addition, some incentives will be availed, such as access to particular resources, e.g., concerts, tickets to play, front packing area for a period, and getting commendation from the principal.
I provided teachers with a short final exercise to determine how the participants required objectives were realized. The process was grounded on determining how participants grasped the activity. Actual observations and observation form was performed to measure the progress of the professional development training. Further, it was prudent to obtain the feedback to understand the teachers’ concerns, identify their areas of strength or weakness, validate their mastery, and without forgetting, the efficiency of the professional development training.
The teachers validated their sufficiency level of proficiency in implementing the primary functions of the Google document applications and the corresponding formats. Moreover, teachers demonstrated the application of advanced editing characteristics, text wrapping without assistance from the instructors, and changing the slide direction. Additionally, observations were made, ensuring that teachers conformed to working on single documents, presentations, or spreadsheets. Finally, training consisted of collaborating groups, allowing the participants to acquire some skills/content from other participants.
Challenges and Areas of Improvement
Teachers poorly perform or fail to serve in the lessons provided in the system by instructors. This may be due to inadequate accessibility to Information Technology resources such as laptops and quality computers. Additionally, some schools do not have sufficient networks or no Wi-Fi. If there is access to internet services, the data for a particular school institution may be limited and therefore reserved for administrational use only.
Participants, in some cases, lack the interest to participate in professional development exercises, making the process challenging to undertake. In most cases, teachers who have spent many years in school and are nearing retirement are reluctant to participate. They view the process as not beneficial since they are retiring soon anyway, and thus there is no need to get engrossed in professional development programs. In addition, some of them are too old and therefore, using the technical gadgets proves difficult for them.
Lack of support by the school management is a growing challenge in the field of the professional development program. Some institutions do not have a suitable mechanism to monitor daily attendance by teachers in the school. Further, school management fails to have a better plan for professional development and leaves that task to individual teachers to find time for the program. Failure to have time by the administration for PDP results in participants’ reluctance to participate in it.
ICT learning programs should be made available for teachers in school by the top management. This will enhance teachers’ computer skills, enabling their success in the professional development process. Further, school institutions should devise a way to link teachers’ centres with the technological apparatus to facilitate access to technical resources without any challenge. Additionally, support staff should be employed to help equip teachers with the required IT skills to implement PDP successfully.
Teachers left with few years to retirement should not be included in the professional development plan. The program does not favor them since they only have limited stay in school institutions. Additionally, if allowed in the program, some may prove futile since they are not equipped with the skills required. Concerning these improvements, management should show full support and device mechanisms and allocate enough time for professional development programs for teachers in the school.
Overall PD Project Reflection
The professional development plan is significant since it allowed the participants to learn extra computer skills. The teachers were able to air out their experience with the PDP implementation and even offer suggestions for its improvements. The professional development is a progressive program and should be prioritized in educational settings for successful academic outcomes. Additionally, PDP ensures quality teaching and learning by the participants, thus improving their skills and capacity to the current global trends.
Significance of Technology Integration in Educational Settings
Technology transforms the learning process, enables teachers to adapt to better teaching methods, and improves learners learning process. Integrating technology in schools equips learners with more profound computer skills knowledge other than just general basic knowledge. Further, technology facilitates students’ active engagement, enhances the connection to actual-world experts, and ensures regular interactions and feedback. Moreover, technology enables students to be responsible for their learning results while teachers facilitate learning processes.
Integration of technology affects the academic outcomes of students positively when its methods are used collaboratively. Further, technology improves content area learning, facilitates sound decision-making and problem-solving skills, and prepares students for workforce awareness. The importance discussed in the context above confirms the need to employ technology in educational institutions and the employment of appropriate staff to implement it for better academic performance.
Brown, A. H., & Green, T. D. (2019). The Essentials of Instructional Design: Connecting Fundamental Principles with Process and Practice (4th ed.). Routledge.
Price, D. (2018). 15 Sources of Digital Content for Your Classroom. The Tech Advocate. Web.
Roblyer, M. D., & Hughes, J. E. (2019). Integrating educational technology into teaching: Transforming learning across disciplines. Pearson Education, Inc.
Vegas, E., & Winthrop, R. (2022). Beyond reopening schools: How education can emerge stronger than before covid-19. Brookings. Web.
Appendix I: Design and Development
- Print Materials: Reading, files, rubrics, syllabus, assignments, and handouts.
- Presentation Materials: PowerPoint, lecture notes, adobe captivate, and Prezi.
- Open Educational Resources (OER): Video clips, database, textbooks, and links to online resources, online articles, and simulations.
Appendix II: Evaluation
- Practical observations
- Cooperative and collaborative groups