The authors identify five stages of teacher development that are crucial to successful adoption of technology in schools. Within each stage, there are specific professional development strategies that work best, they say:
1. Teacher as learner: Teachers learn the necessary skills for using technology in the classroom. Effective strategies include time for training, demonstrations of best practices, and ongoing professional development by peers (instead of one-time workshops by outside consultants).
2. Teacher as adopter: Teachers begin to experiment with technology and share their experiences with their peers. Effective strategies include online resources, help desks, and other types of readily available support; tech specialists within the school building; other tech-savvy teachers who can help new users; and open lab workshops to solve specific technical issues.
3. Teacher as co-learner: Teachers focus on developing a clear relationship between technology and the curriculum. Effective strategies include workshops and online resources with tips and tactics for integrating technology into the curriculum; sharing of best practices across the school building; and use of students as informal tech assistants.
4. Teacher as reaffirmer or rejecter: Teachers begin to assess technology’s impact on student learning and adjust accordingly. Effective strategies include administrative support, an incentive system that is valued by teachers, evidence of impact on student performance, and dissemination of exemplary student work.
5. Teacher as leader: Experienced teachers go on to build capacity within their school and among their fellow teachers. Effective strategies include incentives for co-teaching on-site workshops, release time and possible role changes to allow peer coaching and outside consulting, and support from an outside network of teacher-leaders.