This is an executive summary of an extensive literature review of the hierarchy of conditions needed for effective Interactive WhiteBoard (IWB) professional development (PD). These conditions need to be addressed in order to facilitate the PD and support the integration of the IWBs into teaching and learning. For the full literature review, please contact Nicholas Yates.
Unique to the pyramid is the base of situating the P.D. in the context of the integration. Any PD should be situated and school grown. If there is a school need, can the school pool their resources together before seeking outside consultation? If outside help is sought, will this person facilitate school targeted PD specific to the teachers’ IWB needs and not their stock standard cookie cuttings. Any PD should be developmental as once a set of PD objectives have been met, another set will probably rise. Glover and Miller (2009) engaged teachers in cooperative P.D. that requires teachers engage in a cyclical process to investigate, evaluate, and reflect and their hands-on experiences is exactly what’s needed; the sustained process of discovery syncs well with an object that we must actively touch and use.
The next hierarchical step in P.D. is dealing with extrinsic factors that affect teachers and the P.D. The extrinsic deals with things that are external to the teacher but must be met in order to progress towards effectiveness. Making sure there are no technical issues with the equipment or the infrastructure consistently supports IWB use are two main extrinsic factors. Also a lack of time from contractual duties (teaching, marking, etc…) is often reported as another factor against PD and this can hinder the developmental nature of learning the IWB. Assessment might be considered an obstacle of overall progressive change and this is no different here. Technology integration faces the assessment hurdle as innovation rarely syncs with standardised testing. Hew and Brush reported that high stakes assessments force some teachers to revert to old beliefs in lecture style classes being more effective at information transmission. IWBs are an emerging technology and there must be leadership to guide and encourage teachers in their pursuit of PD. Leadership is a cornerstone for further integration as most other extrinsic factors can be reduced with the right leadership.
The next section is another synthesis of the nature of P.D. stemming from the literature. The intrinsic refers to the P.D. targeting a teachers’ cognition in order to effectively integrate the IWB into their pedagogy and classroom whereas the experiential are teacher experiences to compliment the cognitive side. The experiential factors happen in conjunction and thus the positioning in the hierarchy depicts the complimentary, yet slightly subordinate, nature of the experiential. Collaboration and Community of Practice (COP) are two approaches towards experiencing a range of content, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. Through inquiry and reflection, educators can experience the IWB and allow the intrinsic elements to operate.
The intrinsic elements to effective P.D. occupy slightly more of the top of the section as many articles point to teachers’ cognitive filters when integrating IWBs and reflects that once teachers have IWB experiences, they can then cognitively process the experience before integrating it into their teaching repertoire (Lewin, Somekh, & Steadman, 2008). Many have noted that effective PD must challenge teacher beliefs and this is particularly the case with emerging technologies which are often displacing another teaching aid and beliefs associated with this. Teacher knowledge here must also be targeted as the PD must facilitate knowledge production about the IWB in terms of it can relate to their technological, pedagogical and content knowledge. In the end, a litmus test of the PD is whether there is value congruence between the PD’s message of IWB good practice and the educator’s set of values. If there is a synergy, the teacher may slowly integrate the IWB into teaching and learning in their classroom.
The peak represents the ultimate realisation of effective P.D. for IWB integration. This hypothesis lays the situated context as a foundation and points to experiential factors reflexively influencing with the intrinsic processes; yet in the end, the intrinsic processing of the experiential will lead towards effective P.D., IWB integration. The culmination is more effective teaching and learning through integrating IWBs.
Glover, D., & Miller, D. (2009). Optimising the use of interactive whiteboards: an application of developmental work research (DWR) in the United Kingdom. Professional Development in Education, 35(3), 469-483.
Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gap sand recommentdations for future research. Educational Technology Research & Development, 55(3), 245 – 267.
Lewin, C., Somekh, B., & Steadman, S. (2008). Embedding interactive whiteboards in teaching and learning: The process of change in pedagogic practice. Education and Information Technologies, 13(4), 291-303.