Professional Development

Defining Professional Development

This guide uses the term professional development to represent learning activities of all kinds for school staff that prepare them to use technology in the school setting. Included under the term are activities such as the following:

  • familiarization with the operation of equipment and software;
  • development of proficiency in the use of the technology "tools" to carry out school tasks;
  • the application of software and applications to the management of school activities, whether instructional or administrative; and
  • the integration of technology into teaching, learning, and administrative processes.
Professional development, for the purposes of this chapter, is explicitly understood to extend to administrative and support staff whose jobs have changed and will continue to change due to the infusion of technology in schools. Professional development includes support for teachers and staff as they apply technology to their evolving practices, from lesson plans and curriculum integration to recordkeeping and administrative functions. It is an ongoing process that cannot be satisfied with one-time training in a particular technology.