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Technology and teacher professional development

  • Teachers play an essential role in the development of the society. After parents, these are the teachers who help to make the children better humans. This means they deserve to be well-equipped with all the necessary tools to prepare the children. And with the continuous advancements in technology, this has become easy because teachers can make use of them to ensure they are up to date regarding their teaching methods and other mentoring skills. Here we will discuss ways in which technology can be helpful in the professional development of teachers.

    Lesson planning

    Teachers can use technology to plan their lessons, starting from research to preparing the lecture notes and delivering in class. The Internet has provided a vast resource for research through digital libraries, free-access journals online and thousands of educational websites. For example, teachers can have access to a variety of presentations shared by other teachers and professionals. There are other sites for accessing worksheets and supplementary materials. By incorporating the technology directly into lesson planning, teachers can improve the quality of their teaching and student participation. Though technology can help immensely in planning a lesson, the effectiveness of the lesson depends mainly on the commitment and creativity of the teacher.

    Use of online portfolios

    According to the Glossary of Education Reform, portfolio, in relation to student, "is a compilation of academic work and other forms of educational evidence assembled for (1) evaluating coursework quality, learning progress, and academic achievement; (2) determining whether students have met learning standards or other academic requirements for courses, grade-level promotion and graduation.

    Traditionally students used to have folders carrying a bunch of papers (schools in rural areas still do the same). With technology today, teachers can encourage students to do all these online. There are numerous websites meant for keeping an online portfolio. Using online portfolio makes it easier for students to share their work with their teachers and other colleagues.

    Virtual Reality is the way

    Virtual Reality (VR) is another new technology that has taken the world by storm and offers a distinct way to teach and learn. Instead of using this technology in movies and games, it can be used to teach the students in a unique manner so that they can learn about each perspective of the subject as in reality. Using VR in teaching, teachers can provide a much real experience; they can create interactive characters to allow students to experience real learning. It will also help in the professional development of the teachers.

    Being social

    Using technology and social media platforms, teachers can stay connected with the best professors and teachers of the world. There are many advantages that will flow to the teachers. Being in contact with the very best in business, teachers can develop professionally. This would have a positive impact on the methods of their teaching. 

    Like all other new trends, the social media can be beneficial to the teachers, but also it can be time-consuming and can cause distractions. So, teachers need to employ strategies in using the tool to develop themselves. It also applies to use it in their class. Students can quickly get obsessed with social media.

    Technology has the capability to improve the standards of the traditional methods and ways of doing things. Teachers can add value to their portfolios using technology to their best advantage. The methods of teaching can improve to a great extent, and as a result, students can learn more in an improved way.

    Technology is making lives easier and providing the golden opportunity to the teachers to grow professionally and increase their skills at the same time. With further advancements in technology in future, it is being anticipated that methods of teaching would improve further and teachers will benefit professionally due to these developments.

    Here are some further tips to help teachers in their classes. You may also wish to read Piaget's four stages of development in concept formation - stages that help teachers to understand the learning process in children. 

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