Technology-Centered Professional Learning: What Works in Increasing Teacher Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge

The purpose of this research was to determine the extent to which two professional learning opportunities in one school district were successful in supporting the integration of technology into teachers’ instructional practices. The professional learning (PL) opportunities in the study were part of a Southern California school district’s drive to increase technology use in the classroom. The researcher sought to determine if the designs and learning intentions of two PL opportunities were aligned with Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge Framework. This research was carried out using a convergent parallel mixed method design whereby survey data were collected from teachers who attended at least one of the PL sessions. The data from the survey were analyzed to identify teachers who had implemented at least one of the new technologies, new skills, and/or new knowledge into their teaching. Simultaneously, interviews were conducted with volunteers indicating they would like to continue their participation in the study. Additionally, the professional learning planners were interviewed to determine the extent to which the professional learning sessions were aligned with the TPACK elements. Results of the study showed that contextualized and content driven professional learning were the greatest contributing factors to teachers implementing technology from the PLs into their teaching. Results also showed that PL participants benefit from activities that allow them to collaborate with more technologically experienced teachers and access assistance with implementation long after the PL is over.