Enhancing teachers’ use of technology through professional development on electronic concept mapping

Published:2001, Journal of Science Education & Technology
Authors:Rye J
Type:Project Generated
View Publication http://link.springer.com/10.1023%2FA%3A1016634515816

Abstract

The majority of public school teachers do not feel well prepared to use instructional technology. Professional development on computer-based concept mapping responds to this concern through focusing on a tool/software that has many applications and is not difficult to master. A subset (n = 18) of science teachers in a Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) completed a workshop on electronic concept mapping and were provided with school site licenses and other follow-up support (summer institute). They utilized the software in academic enrichment for underserved students, regular classroom instruction, and inservice training for colleagues. Triangulation of findings from data sources (electronic conferencing, lesson plans, workshop evaluations) revealed that HSTA teachers embrace electronic concept mapping as a versatile educational tool. Factors contributing to this enthusiasm included the ease with which students use the software, the transparent nature of the learning process for these students, and the positive attitudes of colleagues whom they have inserviced. The findings from this project are congruent with what experts contend to be critical features of effective teacher professional development: facilitating a community of learners and providing sustained support. This project now funds software use in over 45 public schools.