Administrators are bombarded with the pros and cons of technology-based programs as tools for enhancing professional development and training for educators. While the promise of such programs is undeniable, it is also clear that few programs have lived up to their early hype.

When considering adding online courses to the options for professional development, administrators should ask the following questions:

  1. What is being taught in the course? Is this something that educators in the school and/or district need?

  2. How is the course being taught? Is online training appropriate for the skills that are being taught?

  3. Are there supplemental activities (forums, discussions, etc.) in place that will reinforce the online material?

  4. Are leaders in the district and in each school committed to using online education and ensuring the level of collaboration needed for it to be successful?

  5. Are there avenues for direct, face-to-face contact by teachers who work in the same school and school district?