The American School Board Journal, July 1999, p. 16

All the computers in the world won’t make a difference if your teachers aren’t trained to use them effectively. Here are eight core components that your professional development program should address:

1. Stakeholder involvement and a shared vision. When planning and implementing a professional development program, input should come from everyone that has a stake in your schools, including teachers, administrators, board members, and parents.

2. Set attainable goals that fit your district. Professional development programs do not come in one-size-fits-all packages. Tailor your program based on the needs and goals of your district.

3. Strategic planning and budgeting. Your strategic plan should include all aspects of technology integration, and professional development is no exception. The U.S. Department of Education says 30 percent of your technology budget should go toward professional development.

4. Use all your resources. Find the money anywhere you can—state and local grants, corporate donations, etc.

5. Base your program on teacher needs and objectives. Let your teachers suggest and participate in the workshops of their choosing.

6. Model best practices. Modeling best practice behaviors in the classroom is an effective way to teach teachers how to integrate technology.

7. Support your teachers. Offer choices and flexible schedules.

8. Review, assess, and adjust. Review your professional development program regularly. Include assessments of student performance, which can be a direct indication of how well your teachers have been trained.