Training teachers in the use of technology as a teaching and learning tool used to increase writing achievement in middle level English language arts classes

How does a school district lead a middle level language arts department into a technology based writing curriculum? Is student achievement affected by this implementation of professional development in the area of technology based instruction? An EETT grant funded program fosters organizational change in a district wide implementation focusing on improving technology skills ofteachers and technology and writing skills of students in language arts classes. Teachers were given 80 hours of professional development training in educational technology applications, 32 hours of dedicated lesson planning time, and onsite support in the form of full time TOSAs. Teacher technology skills improved, student technology skills improved, writing skills improved. The focus of the thesis is on ways to advance teacher skills through generating positive perceptions regarding technology as a teaching and learning tool in language arts classrooms. Key Words: technology, online course management, writing, organizational change, teacher perceptions, classroom technology, netbook computers, Moodie, Mahara.