PD Models - Institute for Learning Technologies

Agenda - May 9th, 2000

The Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT) of Teachers College, Columbia University, established in 1986, works with schools in NYC in their efforts to integrate technology. Over the years, as we have worked with school staff, we have developed, implemented and revised a host of professional development models to effectively integrate technology in support of each school's educational goals and individual school culture.

We began through with the Dalton School, a private K-12 school in New York City, through our founder and Director, Robbie McClintock, who was at the time co-Director for the New Lab for Teaching and Learning at Dalton. Dalton was the test-bed for our work in educational software development, the use of Local Area Networks (LANs) to support shared applications services and the use of email in school settings.

Our explorations with Dalton were intended to be food for thought for our work in public education. In 1994, we initiated two important projects to explore the ways in which the newly developed World Wide Web could improve the kinds of resources public students and teachers had access to and facilitate collaboration amongst professional organizations, higher education and K-12. These were HEAP (http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/k12/heap/index.html) and The Living Schoolbook (http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/text_version/k12/livetext/index.html).

Both projects culminated in the development of content-rich, collaboratively authored sites specifically designed as educational sites with academic quality content. Through them, we came to understand the needs for the development of new kinds of school libraries and curricular and pedagogical materials, the development of technical infrastructures capable of support intensive, multimedia and data rich inquiries, and the kinds of support necessary for staff to transition into roles for which they have had little or no training and for which best practices are yet to be discovered.

With new knowledge and great enthusiasm we began in 1996 and 1997 two large-scale systemic change projects in upstate New York in the Adirondack region, NHEEEP (http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/Projects/nheeep.html), and in urban New York City, Eiffel (http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/Projects/eiffel.html). In both projects, the focus on professional development, including work with teachers, technology staff and administration, has been central. Through these projects, we have acquired an incomparable amount of knowledge as professional developers, whose ties to the university and essential mission situate us distinctly as reflective practitioners

Our experiences have changed us, insofar as we no longer believe as we once did that the Internet, Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructures automatically improve the quality of education for all. Rather, our experience has taught us how complicated the processes of technology integration in the curriculum, professional development for school staff, and infrastructure maintenance are. We have faced many challenges, facilitated many successes, and suffered some setbacks—and learned from them all.

We present you with our experiences as they evolved over time. This history includes an analysis of some common models and implementation plans for professional development, as well as some not so common ones. At the end of this brief workshop, you should be better positioned to interpret the state of your district's professional development programs in support of technology integration, and to better plan for the future.

We applaud you in your commitment to education and thank you for your willingness to invigorate your schools and districts reflectively with technology.

The last screen of this presentation is an open discussion area that will allow you to think about where you are and where you want to be in relation to technology planning and implementation in your school or district. The key players can be dragged and dropped at your convenience.

Introducing the players:




Professional Development Team (ILT)

Technical Team (ILT)



School Technical Coordinators