Targeted Support for Using Technology-Enhanced Science Inquiry Modules
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- Varma, K., Husic, F. & Linn, M.C. J Sci Educ Technol (2008) 17: 341. doi:10.1007/s10956-008-9104-8
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Designing effective professional development experiences for technology-enhanced inquiry instruction is the goal of the Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) NSF funded Center for Learning and Teaching. In order to provide this type of support to a large number of teachers, we devised a targeted professional development approach. Participating teachers implemented short inquiry modules that featured interactive scientific visualizations. We collaborated with 16 schools in eight districts and five states. This paper reports the design, implementation, and refinement of the targeted approach. Findings from interview data show that teachers faced challenges that are often associated with enacting technology innovations in K-12 classrooms. The targeted professional development approach addressed the challenges and allowed teachers to successfully implement the modules in their classrooms. The interview data clarify teachers’ perspectives on how using technology impacted their teaching practices and their ideas about student learning. This work contributes to a growing body of literature that identifies and addresses barriers to integrating technology into K-12 classrooms.