A Letter from the Guest Editordean hardin coleman, boston university school of educationEducational practice is in constan...
Professional Development to Support TPACK Technology Integration: The InitialLearning Trajectories of Thirteen Fifth- and ...
Although several studies have investigated the impact of teacher          repeatedly engage with a problem, they begin to ...
• a critical awareness that the affordances and constraints of a                        This study was therefore designed ...
Teachers were given a brief orientation to the TPACK frame-               RESULTSwork, with particular emphasis on the ide...
Figure 2. Teachers’ self-ratings of tech integration knowledge and expertise. Bars filled with various grayscales represen...
Table 1. Summary of Participants by Learning Trajectory, Teaching Assignment, and Summer ProjectTreeTop Staff (Name and Ti...
computer lab space and developing lab-specific class management                         reported a need to take stock of h...
inform the reader of the variability that is possible in teachers’       on the idea of technology having both affordances...
on meetings and listen to things the other teachers are doing, it’s                        In terms of TPACK mindset, Clyd...
With the start of the school year, Diane became the school’s              of quiz creation in Moodle, Ellen’s project was ...
when there’s a problem, someone [at TreeTop] is able to figure it                       for Frank, TPACK is a comfortable ...
Moodle. Diane reported, “being good at” Google Docs. Even                   their practice; every teacher did not, however...
Morsink Schira Hagerman Hartman Et al 2011 Technology Integration TPACK Learning Trajectories
Morsink Schira Hagerman Hartman Et al 2011 Technology Integration TPACK Learning Trajectories
Morsink Schira Hagerman Hartman Et al 2011 Technology Integration TPACK Learning Trajectories
Morsink Schira Hagerman Hartman Et al 2011 Technology Integration TPACK Learning Trajectories
Morsink Schira Hagerman Hartman Et al 2011 Technology Integration TPACK Learning Trajectories
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Morsink Schira Hagerman Hartman Et al 2011 Technology Integration TPACK Learning Trajectories

  1. 1. A Letter from the Guest Editordean hardin coleman, boston university school of educationEducational practice is in constant need of improvement. It is not the success of the intervention as about those participants whothat refinements in practice will be accomplished day-to-day or developed a sophisticated ability to integrate technology with sub-year-to-year, but over time we must systematically change our ped- ject matter and pedagogy.agogy so that we continue to prepare our students to fully engage in As Shabbi Luthra points out, the study builds on previous worka changing economy and evolving society. As we enter a new econ- that has revealed the importance of using technology to facilitate aomy, which is technology-and innovation-oriented, and demands student-centered, project-based curriculum. She reminds us thatthe use of 21st-century skills, we must develop a 21st-century ped- previous research has shown that there is a trajectory to learningagogy that is student centered, project based, and integrates tech- how to effectively integrate technology into one’s pedagogy thatnology.This does not mean that we cease teaching content. Students goes beyond a simple introduction to a type of technology. Rather,will still need to understand the concept of slope, and they will still real learning comes through using the technology in a supportiveneed to be able write a coherent text that has a topic, a thesis, sup- environment, and receiving both feedback on one’s performanceporting ideas, and a conclusion. How they learn content and skills and guided opportunities to try again until one is able to use themust also prepare them to work in the new economy.The case study technique independently. Although this may sound obvious, it is notconducted by Paul Morsink and his colleagues and the response by how we generally approach professional development for teachers.Shabbi Luthra, published in this Special Section, gives us insights In addition to providing a valuable model for how to integrateinto how we can address these great challenges. technology with content and pedagogy, the case study and com- In their mixed method study of a 7-month professional devel- mentary point to the vital importance of creating systematic andopment program to help elementary teachers learn to integrate sustained approaches to the professional development of teachers iftheir knowledge of technology, content, and pedagogy, Morsink et we expect them to master the techniques. In addition to intensiveal. demonstrate the importance of balancing intensive instruction instruction at the beginning of the learning cycle, teachers are bestwith systematic support over time to help teachers develop a deeper served if they also receive ongoing and focused support as they usesense of competence using this integrated approach. From my the new techniques throughout the academic year. This suggestsperspective, one of the most significant findings of this study is the that we may want to identify one approach we want a group ofcase of an initially reluctant learner who, over time, came to real- teachers to learn (e.g., technology or literacy across the curricu-ize the value of integrating technology into his teaching and his lum) and provide focused support over time until the technique isclassroom. This growth may not have been accomplished if he had mastered. The articles in this Special Section suggest that this is ajust taken a summer institute in technology without subsequent more promising approach than introducing a new technique at thecoaching and inquiry about his practice and attitude. As the next professional development opportunity and providing no guid-authors suggest, the predisposition to integrate technology is a ance during the challenging task of classroom implementation.precursor to doing it well. As such, this case says as much about 1
  2. 2. Professional Development to Support TPACK Technology Integration: The InitialLearning Trajectories of Thirteen Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Educatorspaul m. morsink, michelle schira hagerman, anne heintz, d. matthew boyer, robin harris,kristen kereluik, and douglas k. hartman, michigan state universityanne wood, amber white, carmen woodruff, tracey anderson, shelly goldstein, beth hamm,cindy lewis, paul lewis, cindy mitchell, jill murphy, lyn rogers, anne sherrieb, tammy siegler,and kevin withey, north branch elementary schoolABSTRACT knowledge, and content knowledge—guided at every step by the goal of enhancing student learning. To this end, technologicalThis study examined the initial learning trajectories of 13 upper knowledge is necessary but not sufficient. What matters more is aelementary teachers as they developed technological, pedagogical, teacher’s ability to engage in the kind of flexible, adaptive brico-and content knowledge (TPACK) while participating in a 7-month lage with new technologies that is required for effective pedagogyprofessional development program focused on integrating tech- and to meet students’ particular learning needs. Yet a growingnology into their classroom practice. The program was collabora- body of theory and empirical research (e.g., Chai, Koh, & Tsai,tive and non-prescriptive: teachers worked on self-chosen 2010; Doering, Veletsianos, Scharber, & Miller, 2009; Graham etsummer projects with flexible support from a university-based al., 2009; Guzey & Roehrig, 2009; Koehler, Mishra, & Yahya,partner. A descriptive multicase study design was employed to 2007; Kramarski & Michalsky, 2009; Richardson, 2009) suggeststrack teachers’ learning progressions. Data included interviews, that this bricoleur ability is multifaceted and complex—and devel-surveys, digital artifacts, and researchers’ notes and memos. Dur- ops only gradually, through ongoing practice and growing experi-ing the program, teachers developed varying degrees of TPACK. ence (Mouza, 2009).Analyses distilled six initial TPACK learning trajectories. No surprise, then, that the National Educational Technology Plan identifies “episodic” models of PD (where teachers receive a crash course in the use of a particular technology or technology-The U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 National Educational enhanced instructional method) as a problem contributing to theTechnology Plan notes “widespread agreement that teachers, by general failure to “support and develop educators’ identities as flu-and large, are not well prepared to use technology in their prac- ent users of advanced technology” (p. 45; see also Borko, 2004).tice” (p. 39). This fact may seem counterintuitive, given that in- The report asserts that preparing a nation of tech-savvy teachersschool access to computers, the Internet, and other digital will require long-term, collaborative professional learning frame-technologies (e.g., digital cameras, digital projectors) has grown works that unite communities of professionals and that aresteadily over the past 20 years (National Center for Education Sta- grounded in teachers’ daily practice. This view is supported by atistics, 2010a, 2010b). Further, more teachers than ever before wide body of research indicating the value of teacher training thathave received some professional development (PD) on a technol- is embedded in schools and classrooms, sustained over anogy-related topic (Darling Hammond, Chung Wei, Andree, extended period of time, and includes both project-based activi-Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009; Partnership for 21st Century ties and opportunities for reflection (Burbank & Kauchak, 2003;Skills, 2009). In addition, many of the nation’s youngest teachers Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, &Yoon, 2001; Penuel, Fishman,are “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001) whose lives have been infused Yamagushi, & Gallagher, 2007; Putnam & Borko, 2000; Schrum,with digital technologies almost from birth. Why, then, are so 1999; Wilson & Berne, 1999).many teachers still not well prepared to infuse technology into Mindful of this research and the importance of teachers devel-their curriculum and instructional practices? oping both technology expertise and flexible and adaptive technol- One likely reason is that integrating technology into curricu- ogy integration expertise, we designed a professional developmentlum and instruction entails much more than knowing how to oper- institute for teachers at TreeTop Elementary (a pseudonym) thatate a computer or use a piece of software. Teachers may acquire a was long-term, project-based, non-prescriptive, collaborative, andhigh level of expertise in these areas and still fail to integrate tech- grounded in their arena of practice. The structure was purposelynology into their practice—or fail to do so effectively. As Mishra flexible to serve teachers’ evolving goals and priorities for tech-and Koehler (2006) have argued, effective instructional use of nology integration. The project was sustained over a 7-monthtechnology requires weaving together three essential strands of period and included multiple and diverse points of contactteacher knowledge—technological knowledge, pedagogical between the university research team and the school professionals. 3
  3. 3. Although several studies have investigated the impact of teacher repeatedly engage with a problem, they begin to apply more effec-training aimed at developing teachers’ ability to integrate tech- tive strategies. Their movement toward expertise is unpredictablenology (e.g., Chai et al., 2010; Doering et al., 2009; Graham et and, as Siegler (1996) has noted, their progression of strategyal., 2009; Guzey & Roehrig, 2009; Koehler et al., 2007; Kra- application looks much like a series of “overlapping waves” (p. 89)marski & Michalsky, 2009; Richardson, 2009), little is known with several strategies competing, emerging, and receding overabout teachers’ day-to-day experiences and perceptions as they time until more adaptive strategies become the most frequentlyparticipate in training and acquire new knowledge and skills. Do used options.these experiences and perceptions follow particular patterns? In the context of professional development, we have adoptedOver time, as in-service teachers move from novice to expert the concepts of learning progressions and overlapping waves totechnology integrators in the course of an extended period of PD conceptualize the variable paths that teachers take from novice tolearning, what learning trajectories do they travel? This study was expert technology integrators. Importantly, however, we recog-designed to shed light on this important and largely neglected nize this as a career-long process of development, composed ofdimension of technology integration in schools (for an exception, sub-components that can be examined closely. We identify learn-see Mouza, 2009). Together with our participant collaborators at ing trajectories as segments of this overarching, career-long pro-TreeTop Elementary, we decided to put teachers’ learning expe- gression of learning. Over time, in aggregate, trajectories willriences center stage. For this reason, we report the general find- together constitute the arc of a learning progression. However, weings of the study and then present six profiles of teachers with do not assume that, at any given point in time, individual trajecto-contrasting learning trajectories. ries are necessarily congruent with, or predictive of, the overarch- ing progression that may eventually emerge—especially duringTHEORETICAL FRAMEWORK the initial phase of learning a new skill when variability is likely.The design of the professional development institute and the TPACK Perspectiveresearch investigation were informed by three complementary With regard to teachers’ learning about technology, we relied heav-theoretical perspectives: the situative perspective of learning, ily on the TPACK framework articulated by Mishra and Koehlerlearning progressions theory, and TPACK. (2006, 2008). TPACK, Technological, Pedagogical, and ContentSituative Perspective Knowledge, is a framework for understanding the relationship between teachers’ knowledge of technology, content knowledge,The situative perspective (Greeno, 2003; Lave & Wenger, 1991) and knowledge about teaching. The framework builds on Shulman’scontrasts with more narrow cognitive perspectives in that learning (1986) model of pedagogical-content knowledge and adds techno-is seen as occurring through processes of enculturation as much as logical knowledge as a core realm of essential teacher knowledge.through processes of knowledge construction (Cobb, 1994; Cobb Echoing Shulman’s emphasis on the area of overlap between con-& Bowers, 1999). Enculturation refers to processes by which the tent and pedagogy, TPACK highlights the areas of overlap betweenability to participate and act meaningfully in particular socially content, pedagogy, and technology (Harris, Mishra, & Koehler,organized activities is developed in particular contexts. The acqui- 2009; Koehler & Mishra, 2008, 2009; Mishra & Koehler, 2006,sition of decontextualized knowledge is, by itself, not sufficient to 2008, 2009) and asserts that effective teaching with technologybring about learning. Rather, learning has occurred only when the happens only in these areas of overlap that are optimally integrated.individual is able to apply new knowledge in targeted social arenas The TPACK perspective strongly rejects conceptions of technologyand activities. For our purposes, the situative perspective provides integration that focus on teachers developing expertise in isolateda framework for research that casts a wide net over sociocultural technologies. Instead it advocates developing a mindset that is flex-as well as cognitive processes and dynamics, grounding our focus ible, adaptive, and committed to orchestrating the best possible fiton (a) individual teachers as learners (and their individual “learn- among the three components.ing trajectories”) and (b) their evolving participation in one or Key features of this TPACK teacher mindset include:more professional learning communities (Putnam & Borko, 2000). • openness to the possibility that the content and proceduresLearning Progressions Perspectives of yesterday might be improved tomorrow with the help ofThis project is also grounded in a conceptualization of learning new technologies;progressions as complex, strategic, non-linear processes that • ongoing professional reflection and a commitment to iden-develop over time through protracted engagement with a set of tify areas for innovation and improvement;ideas (Shavelson, 2009). This view is informed by theories of • a willingness to apply new methods and strategies;change in strategy selection (e.g., Kuhn, 1995; Siegler, 1996, • a critical stance toward novelty and innovation for their own2007). Kuhn and Pease (2010) note that individuals have “a reper- sake;tory of strategies that they bring to a new situation, some more • a critical awareness that all technologies have affordances asadequate or advanced than others” (p. 135), and that as learners well as constraints;4 J O U R N A L O F E D U C AT I O N • V O L U M E 1 9 1 • N U M B E R 2 • 2 0 1 0 / 2 0 1 1
  4. 4. • a critical awareness that the affordances and constraints of a This study was therefore designed to answer the following given technology will likely vary over time in relation to research questions: changing purposes, contexts, and audiences; 1. What initial learning trajectories do upper elementary • an ongoing commitment to maximize the affordances and teachers move through as they develop expertise for inte- minimize the constraints of technologies; and • an ongoing commitment to learn more about technology grating technology into their curriculum and teaching? tools and options and to access the technology expertise and 2. What influences and experiences shape these learning advice of peers and others. trajectories? In the present study, we looked for evidence of an emerging The MethodTPACK mindset in our TreeTop colleagues. School and Professional Development Context. TreeTop Elementary is located in a rural public school district in a Midwestern state. TheTHE STUDY district covers roughly 150 square miles and serves 2,000 stu-The Justification dents. It has a strategic plan for technology integration that is updated every three years. Since 1995, the district has had a fiberSeveral studies have investigated the impact of various forms of optic Local Area Network connecting it to the Internet.TPACK-oriented professional development on teachers’ emerging TreeTop Elementary serves approximately 360 students inmindsets in different educational contexts (e.g., Chai et al., 2010; grades 5 and 6. Each of three computer labs is equipped with 30Doering et al., 2009; Graham et al., 2009; Guzey & Roehrig, desktop computers, and there is a smaller library lab with nine2009; Koehler et al., 2007; Kramarski & Michalsky, 2009; computers. Each classroom has a LCD projector, an ELMO docu-Richardson, 2009). However, little is known about the texture of ment camera, and at least one computer. Effective use of technol-teachers’ day-to-day learning experiences with technology andhow these unfold over time. Specifically, to our knowledge no ogy is viewed as a desirable part of instruction.study has examined in depth, and over an extended period, in- The professional development and research team from Michiganservice teachers’ idiosyncratic learning trajectories as they experi- State University was initially invited in March 2010 to provide a day-enced them and reported their reactions, nor have we identified long seminar on digital tools. Following the seminar, a Summerstudies incorporating teachers’ responses to researchers’ analyses Institute was developed as an extension of this seminar.The Instituteof their learning trajectories, as is the case here. involved a subset of the original seminar participants who were then paired with members of the university research team. This pairingThe Research Questions allowed researchers to provide individualized, intensive, and specificKoehler et al. (2007) assert that TPACK development is a “multi- support for the practitioners as they developed individual projectsgenerational process” (p. 758) and that developing deeper under- for implementation in the fall. In addition to ongoing and as-neededstandings of the “complex web of relationships between content, interactions between the teachers and researchers via e-mail andpedagogy and technology and the contexts in which they function” video conferencing, the Institute met for two days, once in June and(p. 758) requires protracted engagement with TPACK ideas. We again at the end of the summer in August. Figure 1 provides thewondered what this multigenerational process (i.e., learning pro- timeline of the professional development.gression) might be for teachers in the same school with different The first Summer Institute session was structured to linklevels of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge who teachers’ open-ended exploration of new technologies with tar-were explicitly engaging with the ideas of TPACK for the first time. geted thinking about curriculum planning for the fall semester. Figure 1. Timeline of professional development institute. Triangles indicate survey administrations, circles indicate day-long professional development sessions as part of the Summer Institute, and interviews are indicated with the “two-people” icon. Note that Phase 1 began in June and lasted until August and that Phase 2 began in September and ended in December. Phase 1: Individual Project Development Phase 2: Individual Project Implementation Interview 1 Interview 2 Survey 1 Survey 2 Survey 3 March June July August September October November December January PD Day at Summer PD Day at TreeTop Institute PD TreeTop at UniversityP R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T T O S U P P O R T T PA C K T E C H N O L O G Y I N T E G R AT I O N 5
  5. 5. Teachers were given a brief orientation to the TPACK frame- RESULTSwork, with particular emphasis on the idea that all tools have Primary Data Analysisaffordances and constraints and the corollary idea that any decisionto use a particular technology will inevitably have implications for The mean scores for each Likert-type question were comparedboth curriculum and pedagogy. The teachers were partnered with across the three survey iterations using repeated measures ANOVA.the university team to engage in open-ended conversations about Statistically significant main effects were observed for Question 2their curricular and pedagogical goals and the technologies that (Knowledge of Technology in General), F (2, 11) = 7.314, p =might serve them. Each teacher filled out a planning chart— .003, Question 3 (Knowledge/Expertise of Tech Integration), F (2,housed in a single shared Google Doc that all teachers and admin- 11) = 22.966, p <.001 and Question 7 (Priority of Tech Integra-istrators could access—briefly describing his/her idea for a tion), F (2, 11) = 8.927, p = .001, indicating that in these areassummer learning project. The teachers and their university part- there was significant change in teachers’ views from June toners arranged virtual meeting times throughout the summer for December. Subsequent post hoc tests with the Bonferroni correc-follow-up conversations regarding the projects. After this first ses- tion were run for additional insight into the direction of change insion, each teacher’s learning regarding technology and integration the three areas. These results indicated the following: a) overall, the teachers’ self-rated general knowledge of technology improvedfocused on his/her particular project goals. over the duration of the institute, but the most growth was per- The second session in August was structured to allow teachers ceived to occur between June and August; b) teachers similarly per-to share the work of the summer and discuss options for technol- ceived significant growth in their knowledge and expertise forogy integration across the curriculum with their grade-level plan- technology integration between June and August, but did not, inning teams. general, perceive growth in this area between August and Decem-Participants. Thirteen practitioners voluntarily participated in the ber; and c) teachers significantly increased their prioritization ofInstitute. The group included ten full-time classroom teachers, the technology integration between June and August, but by December,principal, the counselor and health teacher, and the literacy coach. prioritization had essentially returned to pre-PD institute levels.The professional development team included one professor ofteacher education and educational technology and six education Secondary Data Analysisdoctoral students from the university (all of whom have taught at The third survey question that focused on current level of knowl-the K–12 or post-secondary levels). edge and expertise of technology integration was intended to gauge change in teachers’ perceptions of TPACK expertise overData Collection Procedures. Figure 1 summarizes the data collection time. Although it was not the only variable to have changed in atimeline. The practitioners completed three electronic surveys statistically significantly way over the course of the Institute, thisvia SurveyMonkey: a) in June 2010, before the first Summer variable was of greatest import to the theoretical framework ofInstitute PD session; b) in late August, immediately following the this study. More than “general knowledge” or “prioritization ofsecond summer institute session; and c) in December 2010 after technology integration,” teachers’ self-reported knowledge andteachers had implemented their personal projects during the fall expertise for technology integration is a central indicator of thesemester. (To obtain a copy of the full survey, please contact the TPACK mindset. For this reason we chose to base our descriptionsfirst author.) Practitioners also completed two interviews (June of initial TPACK learning trajectories on the results from this2010 and December 2010), which were conducted and recorded question alone.by their paired research team member via Skype. Researchers In response to our first research question, we identified six dis-also documented e-mail correspondence, Skype calls, and other tinct trajectories (see Figure 2). These identified trajectories werecommunications. then fleshed out into descriptive profiles with data drawn fromData Analysis Procedures. Primary data analysis involved statistical interview transcripts, e-mails, researcher memos, and responsesanalysis of survey responses and examination of patterns that to other survey questions. During this phase we also identified dataemerged. Repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was relevant to our second research question and incorporated theseused to compare responses across the three survey times. The data into each profile. The following section presents the resultingANOVA results were used to identify typical and non-typical trajectory profiles.response trajectories of the practitioners over the course of the Overview: Initial TPACK Learning Trajectories. The most common tra-Summer Institute. Secondary data analysis involved transcribing jectory was for the teachers to rate themselves at the same level onand analyzing interviews and sifting through answers to open- Survey 3 as on Survey 2. This trajectory, “Climb, Plateau” (C-P),ended survey questions, correspondence, and researcher notes was demonstrated by eight of thirteen teachers in their answers toand memos. Based on the ANOVA results, these data sources were Question #3 (see Figure 2). Five additional trajectories were alsoanalyzed with a view to identifying and describing the influences observed with regard to self-ratings on levels of knowledge andand experiences that shaped teachers’ learning trajectories. expertise; we present a series of profiles to describe these cases.6 J O U R N A L O F E D U C AT I O N • V O L U M E 1 9 1 • N U M B E R 2 • 2 0 1 0 / 2 0 1 1
  6. 6. Figure 2. Teachers’ self-ratings of tech integration knowledge and expertise. Bars filled with various grayscales represent the Climb- Plateau trajectory. Other trajectories are represented with patterned shading. Labels 1, 2, 3 indicate survey iterations. “Abbie 1,” for example, is Abbie’s self-rating on the first survey (in June); “Abbie 2” is her self-rating on the second survey (in August); and “Abbie 3” is her self-rating on the third survey (in December). 4.00 Level of Tech Integration Expertise 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 Abbie 1 Abbie 2 Abbie 3 Alexis 1 Alexis 2 Alexis 3 Amanda 1 Amanda 2 Amanda 3 Amy 1 Amy 2 Amy 3 Andrea 1 Andrea 2 Andrea 3 Anita 1 Anita 2 Anita 3 April 1 April 2 April 3 Astrid 1 Astrid 2 Astrid 3 Betty 1 Betty 2 Betty 3 Clyde 1 Clyde 2 Clyde 3 Diane 1 Diane 2 Diane 3 Ellen 1 Ellen 2 Ellen 3 Frank 1 Frank 2 Frank 3 Teachers• “Start High, Plateau” (SH-P): “above average” on all 3 adminis- CASE: COMPOSITE LEARNING TRAJECTORY trations of the survey (n = 1);• “Start Low, Plateau” (SL-P): “minimal” on all 3 administrations Composite Learning Trajectory Profile #1: of the survey (n = 1); Climb, Plateau• “Plateau, Climb” (P-C): “moderate” in Spring and Summer and The “Climb, Plateau” (C-P) trajectory corresponds to a first period “above average” in late Fall (n = 1); of perceived growth in knowledge and proficiency with technol-• “Climb, Climb” (C-C): “minimal,” then “moderate,” then “above ogy integration (June to August) followed by a second period average” on each successive administration of the survey (n = 1); (August to December) without apparent growth—or, at least, and with growth deemed insufficient by C-P teachers to merit a higher• “Climb, Decline” (C-D): “minimal” in late Spring, “moderate” in self-rating on Survey 3. Summer, and “minimal” in late Fall (n =1). On Survey 1, many C-P teachers described themselves as lack- Table 1 identifies participants by a first name, position, grade ing in technological knowledge (TK). When asked to list possiblelevel, and subject(s) taught, and provides the topics of all the sum- reasons not to integrate technology, the teachers’ open-endedmer institute projects. Participants are grouped by learning trajec- responses included comments about knowing less than some stu-tory. All first names are pseudonyms. dents about technology and not feeling confident about selecting Each case represents a type of learning trajectory with evidence websites and using Web-based tools. At the same time, theyof the experiences and influences that shaped them. The profile expressed the wish not to deprive their students of potentiallyends with a short conclusion as well as a participant commentary engaging lessons and opportunities for learning. Administratorson the accuracy of the researchers’ analyses. used similar language to characterize the TreeTop climate beforeP R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T T O S U P P O R T T PA C K T E C H N O L O G Y I N T E G R AT I O N 7
  7. 7. Table 1. Summary of Participants by Learning Trajectory, Teaching Assignment, and Summer ProjectTreeTop Staff (Name and Title) Grade Level and Subject(s) Summer ProjectClimb, Plateau Profile (C-P)Abbie, Teacher 6th grade PBworks wiki for spelling, grammar, and composition instruction Language ArtsAlexis, Teacher 5th grade Kidblog for grammar, writing, novel study; All subjects except Science Google Docs for writing instructionAmanda, Teacher 6th grade Goodreads for book clubs; Language Arts Google Docs for writing instructionAmy, Teacher 6th grade Student moviemaking with Camtasia to showcase “real life math” MathematicsAndrea, Teacher 6th grade Moodle for all subject area materials and tests Science and Social StudiesAnita, Teacher 6th grade PBworks wiki for math skills instruction MathematicsApril, Teacher 5th grade PBworks wiki for genre writing instruction Language Arts and Social StudiesAstrid, Principal All grades Videos for parent communication; Google Docs for teacher planning and assessmentStart High, Plateau Profile (SH-P)Betty, Administrator/Literacy Coach All grades Exploring literacy-relevant Web tools for her own use and that of teacher colleaguesStart Low, Plateau Profile (SL-P)Clyde, Teacher 5th grade Diigo to annotate websites for math and science Mathematics and SciencePlateau, Climb Profile (P-C)Diane, Teacher/Counselor All grades Counselor Web page design using district content management system HealthClimb, Climb Profile (C-C)Ellen, Teacher 5th grade Moodle for quizzes on vocabulary, literary terms, and grammar Language ArtsClimb, Decline Profile (C-D)Frank, Teacher 6th grade PBworks wiki to document lessons for absent students Science and Social Studiesthe Summer Institute: staff was described as “curious” and “ner- These contacts took the form of e-mails and short Skype calls.vous.” The principal also pointed out that, at the outset of the PD, During this early stage, the typical C-P teacher reported valuingshe and her staff “didn’t know what [they] didn’t know.” her partner’s just-in-time support and ability to serve both as guinea pig for, and expert reviewer of, her project work.Phase 1: June to August. Between Surveys 1 and 2, C-P teachers With regard to technological-pedagogical knowledge (TPK),made strides in TK. They researched the platform or tool(s) they over the summer these teachers focused mainly on planning andhad chosen for their summer projects; explored the affordances of assembling. Given the summer break and the fact that they hadthese tools; and set up necessary infrastructure. Much of this work not yet implemented their new technology, attention and energywas done solo. However, the typical C-P teacher called on her uni- were focused mostly on TK and Content Knowledge (CK). Theversity partner for technical support, suggestions for alternative primary pedagogical concern for many took the form of envision-platforms and tools, feedback on the work, or a boost in morale. ing the logistics of classroom implementation, including securing8 J O U R N A L O F E D U C AT I O N • V O L U M E 1 9 1 • N U M B E R 2 • 2 0 1 0 / 2 0 1 1
  8. 8. computer lab space and developing lab-specific class management reported a need to take stock of how their attempts at integrationand workflow procedures. had played out. With regard to technology-content knowledge (TCK), C-P With regard to TPK and TCK, in the fall, many C-P teachersteachers’ insecurities regarding technology appeared to be coun- reported receiving support and encouragement from their col-terbalanced by confidence in curricular knowledge, which served leagues. Beyond the August PD session, where teachers sharedas a safe base camp for their explorations of technologies. One their projects with their colleagues, peer collaboration appeared toC-P teacher, April, commented: increase and continue throughout Phase 2. In weekly grade-level meetings, teachers discussed with their I’m real familiar with the curriculum. I mean, that [part has colleagues their ongoing ups and downs with technology integra- been] kind of been easy for me in learning the technologies. tion. These conversations served as a source of practical help and . . . Whenever I learn a new technique, new technology, I’m advice and promoted a general awareness of the importance of always thinking of how the curriculum can be involved in flexibility and versatility—a key tenet of a TPACK mindset. From that and it just kind of comes naturally just because I’ve been Survey #1 to Survey #3, on average, the eight teachers’ assess- involved in curriculum so long. ments of their colleagues’ suggestions and support in meeting Exploring new technologies in support of specific curricular their learning needs increased in value from between moderatelyprojects tied to familiar curriculum also appeared to strengthen helpful and often helpful, to between often helpful and most helpful.C-P teachers’ TPACK mindset for achieving a tight fit between C-P teachers’ August-to-December comments regarding theirtechnology, curriculum and pedagogy.This mindset shift is reflected ability to successfully integrate technology, in the main, shiftedin the survey data. For example, respondents were asked whether from general apprehension about things not working to more spe-concern for the fit between technology and teaching style and cific concerns, directly connected to experiences and issues ofbetween technology and curriculum would be not important, some- implementation. A teacher who, in June, reported feeling gener-what important, important, very important, or decisively important. Their ally nervous, in November reported challenges associated with labresponses indicated that, as their technology integration knowledge hardware not working and with managing pedagogical objectivesand expertise increased from Survey #1 to Survey #2, they placed when software applications were slow.greater importance on achieving a tighter fit between technology Computer lab use was up overall during Phase 2. All C-P teach-and content and between technology and teaching style. ers reported spending more time there in fall 2010 than they had At the end of Phase 1, C-P teachers reported growth in their during the previous semester, resulting in some challenges. Theknowledge and expertise in integrating technology into their cur- principal noted that the increase in teacher interest had led to thericulum and teaching. Teachers were focused on developing spe- need for greater computer lab availability; she reported hercific projects, and they brought their curricular and teaching attempts to secure laptop computers for each team.expertise to bear on the exploration and mobilization of new tech- Conclusion. By the end of Phase 2, teachers were able to describe innologies. They were appreciative of one-to-one support from uni- more specific terms the realities and challenges of technology inte-versity learning partners, and prioritized more highly the gration, thus demonstrating a fuller knowledge-in-practice than inalignment and “fit” of technology with content and teaching style. August, even if they continued to rate themselves at the same levelPhase 2: August to December. In fall 2010, seven of eight teachers of knowledge and expertise. While a plateau may seem to indicateimplemented the projects they had worked on during the summer, stasis, the data suggest that the gains in enthusiasm and confidenceand several teachers implemented other technology-enhanced les- from Survey 1 to Survey 2 were supplemented by gains in knowl-son plans and projects. During this implementation phase, most edge-in-practice from Survey 2 to Survey 3. These data are consis-C-P teachers experienced both successes and challenges. On Sur- tent with the characterization of learning progressions as the resultvey 3, C-P teachers’ reported that their knowledge and expertise of repeated attempts at implementation (Siegler, 1996) within afor technology integration had remained the same since August. context of adaptation and evaluation (Mishra & Koehler, 2008). In the fall, many C-P teachers continued to advance their own Practitioner comments. After reading the above description of theTK beyond what was necessary for their summer projects. An C-P trajectory (in rough draft form), several C-P teachers com-important catalyst was the decision by administrators to obtain a mented that it accurately captured the most important aspects ofGoogle Apps for Education account for the school, which instantly their experience.gave every teacher and student easy access to a suite of Web tools, “Climb, Plateau” teachers offered additional hypotheses regard-and many teachers devoted time to exploring these tools. The flip ing the possibility that teachers may, in the future, climb againside of this increase in TK for many teachers was a saturation after a period of implementing new technology because they willpoint. By fall, they had accumulated a wealth of resources, and the feel increasingly motivated to seek new tools and improve theirchallenges of implementation seemed to shift the focus from knowledge and skills.exploring and planning to troubleshooting and monitoring. Rather Following are a series of profiles of teachers who exemplifiedthan striving for additional knowledge or expertise, many a non-typical learning trajectory. The cases are presented toP R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T T O S U P P O R T T PA C K T E C H N O L O G Y I N T E G R AT I O N 9
  9. 9. inform the reader of the variability that is possible in teachers’ on the idea of technology having both affordances and constraints,learning trajectories. with the teacher balancing the trade-offs. Betty’s thinking during the entire PD period was marked by highCASES: NON-TYPICAL LEARNING TRAJECTORIES level of reflection and problem solving. For example, Betty asked:Betty: Learning Trajectory Profile #2: “What scaffolding and/or modeling can I do to make this easier forStart High, Plateau students? [. . . W]ould it help to make a ScreenToaster [screen-cap- ture] video how-to, set up a demo project, bookmark websites,A first non-typical learning trajectory was a “Start High, Plateau” etc.?” With her colleagues in mind, she also reflected on the partic-(SH-P) where the self-rated level of knowledge and expertise ular affordances and constraints of teaching with technology in theregarding technology integration began “above average” and school’s two computer labs, stating at one point that the labs’ seat-remained the same across all three surveys. Betty, the only teacher ing arrangement (with computers anchored to tables in rows) didwith this SH-P profile, is the literacy coach. Her self-rating not allow students to work in groups in contrast to her office thatappeared consistent with her mentoring role at the school, her was furnished with a large round table and wireless laptops.service on state technology committees and in a number of pro- Interestingly, Betty rated the following factors as “unimportantfessional organizations, and the fact that she herself has led work- to consider when integrating technology”: “My opinion about theshops on technology integration. fit between technology & my teaching style” and “What I’ve done In June, Betty’s advanced level of technology knowledge and before.” These ratings seem to suggest that Betty prioritized con-expertise was evidenced by the extensive list of hardware, soft- siderations of content and curriculum over her past pedagogicalware, and Web tools she was currently using for both teacher work habits and predilections. In other words, she saw herself and herand student instruction. The hardware included the ELMO docu- pedagogical choices as highly flexible and adaptable.ment camera, digital projector, Flip camera, digital camera, andiPod, in addition to laptop and desktop computers. Her software Conclusion. Betty’s role as literacy coach positioned her to be in theand Web tools included Wikispaces, Jing, Delicious, YouTube/ vanguard of technology integration efforts and to be engaged inTeacherTube, Skyward, Weebly, Ning, Wordle, GoogleDocs, thinking about curricular and instructional implications of tech-Movie Maker, Skype, and Elluminate Live! During the June PD nology integration at a high level, for herself and her colleagues.day she used Twitter to post 140-character Tweets for colleagues at She started the PD with an advanced TPACK mindset focused onother schools to read online. thoughtfully weaving together technology, pedagogy, and content. Also in June, Betty’s thinking about technology integration Throughout the PD period she deepened and applied her TPACKshowed a TPACK-type concern for always connecting technology mindset in new and varied ways, for herself and her colleagues.with content and pedagogy. For example, in response to a question Practitioner comments. After reading this description, Betty com-about factors that would influence her decision-making about inte- mented on the overall accuracy. With regard to the extendedgrating technology, Betty listed six, including whether the tech- plateau period in her trajectory, she expressed agreement withnology would “showcase the specific curricular concept(s) that I “the idea that a plateau in one’s trajectory did not seem to indicatewould like to address” and “anticipating plausible challenges that a time of no learning.” She further explained that: “[TreeTop’s]students and/or I may face while learning through this medium.” adoption of Google Apps for Education [in September 2010] Over the summer months and into the fall, Betty scouted for opened the floodgate to learning (Google Docs, Prezi,new digital tools she could use with her students and share with VoiceThread, Glogster) . . . but encouraged me to slow down andher colleagues. By December, she reported having used the fol- work and learn beside our students in this new digital space.” Thislowing software and Web tools for the first time: Google Calen- was a time when she “needed to slow down and go deep.” Shedar, Data for Student Success, Camtasia, VoiceThread, Prezi, iCal, noted “conversations with colleagues and hard knock experience”PhotoPeach, Keynote, Glogster, Screen Toaster, iMovie, Garage- as sources of her “deepening sense, over time, of the complexitiesBand for Podcasting, iDVD, WordPress, Stop Motion Freeware, of technology integration.” Betty concluded by saying, “the moreand Wimba. you learn about something, the more you realize how much The qualitative data did not suggest change from Phase 1 to MORE there is to unearth, discover, question, and wonder about.”Phase 2 of the PD, as was the case for the majority of her col-leagues. Instead, there was sustained activity around technology Clyde: Learning Trajectory Profile #3:learning and integration as Betty remained focused on finding the Start Low, Plateau“goodness of fit” between a given technology and student-learning In contrast to the “Start High, Plateau” profile, Clyde showed agoals—whether it concerned her own students or those of a col- “Start Low, Plateau” trajectory (SL-P). At each survey, Clyde con-league. For example, Betty talked on more than one occasion sistently reported that his knowledge and expertise regardingabout “the content I’m attempting to bring into focus through technology integration were “minimal.” He also reported “mini-technology.” This idea of technology bringing particular concepts mal” knowledge of technology in general and “minimal” ability to“into focus” (while presumably leaving others out of focus) builds help colleagues with technology problems. He said, “When I sit in10 J O U R N A L O F E D U C AT I O N • V O L U M E 1 9 1 • N U M B E R 2 • 2 0 1 0 / 2 0 1 1
  10. 10. on meetings and listen to things the other teachers are doing, it’s In terms of TPACK mindset, Clyde seemed to have moved to alike I don’t even know what [they’re] talking about.” place of greater openness. While lacking in confidence and aware In Phase 1, Clyde set a goal to learn more about Diigo, a free of his limitations with technology, he was not resistant to change.social bookmarking and research tool (Diigo Inc., 2010). Over the He indicated a desire to do more and yet, still seemed blocked,summer, however, he did “very little with it” because competing perhaps because he viewed technology integration as a problem ofresponsibilities left little time to work with technology. On Survey overwhelming proportions that would require a great deal of his1, he listed “not having the technology or time” as the most signif- attention. At the end of Phase 2, he said:icant obstacles to integrating technology into his teaching. He also For me to stay in this field [. . .] I have to start getting trainedemphasized time pressures during his interview. or getting myself comfortable with the idea [. . .] I definitely I definitely should be doing more and I’ve done very little, know I’ve got to do that. As soon as I can get a summer, or actually, with all the other things I get involved with. [Every some weekends or whatever, I definitely have to get some day] is pretty full until late at night and then just keeping up classes and some time with some people that can help me with the normal paper work. I blame that, I don’t know if start navigating myself through some of this stuff and not that’s a good excuse or not? [. . .] We have to, you know, feel so nervous about it. keep track of so many different sets of data. Conclusion. Clyde made progress toward a TPACK mindset of open-He acknowledged a feeling of culpability, however, and indicated ness but he finished the PD institute without making substantivethat more time to explore technology would make a difference gains in TK, TCK, or TPK. In terms of learning progressions, it mayfor him. be that before any real development on TPACK can occur, teachers It’s my fault. I know the only way that’s going to change is if must come to see themselves as technology integrators and adopt I could just start sitting down and change how much time I not just a mindset of openness, but also a long-term view that dedicate from what my other jobs are and start just doing frames technology integration as an iterative process of small steps more of that. I know that’s how they [my colleagues] figured rather than a singular commitment of major time and effort. it out. Practitioner comments. Clyde commented that this profile accurately,And yet, he admitted that it was hard to commit when he was not “captured the fact that I’ve spent very little time keeping up withfeeling confident. On Surveys 1 and 2, Clyde noted technology new technology and computer software.” He added, “Unfortu-integration in the lower half of his priorities. He explained his lack nately [the profile] didn’t leave out or miss anything about my abil-of motivation: ities when it comes to using technology.” I get real nervous working at it [technology]. I get into Diane: Learning Trajectory Profile #4: Plateau, Climb something and then I’m always either getting myself lost or TreeTop’s counselor and health teacher exemplified a “Plateau, I don’t know what to do next and it just gets frustrating. To Climb” (P-C) trajectory. In June 2010, Diane felt that she had a me, it’s more work. “moderate” understanding of technologies and how she could use In Phases 1 and 2, Clyde did not demonstrate any observable, them in her work. When asked in the first interview about her rea-substantive improvement in his TK or TPK, but in December, at son for her self-evaluation, she replied, “I hadn’t actually usedthe end of Phase 2, there was evidence that his understanding of Moodle or any advanced technologies.” She reported student usetechnology integration, and of himself as a technology integrator, and enjoyment as her primary drivers for learning more abouthad changed. technology. Diane was experienced at using e-mail and messaging When asked to list the factors that would influence his decision- software, but had not created content or delved into other tools.making about integrating technology, Clyde’s first two survey Her university partner noted that Diane was concerned aboutresponses focused on access to technology, state curriculum how she might integrate technology into her work as a counselor.expectations, and unspecified “students’ needs.” His third survey She worried that she might not have the same pedagogical or con-responses, however, were striking in their inclusion of the pro- tent-based reasons to use technologies as her colleagues. Dianenoun “I”: “Could I find interesting sites for the subjects?” “Would I chose to create a “Counselor Corner” Web page on the school’shave access to a larger lab when I need it?” “Would the site work site that included her contact information, information for par-when I need it?” Even his last factor, “Would all my students be able ents, and links to county-level health and service organizations.to see the displays?” specifically names his students, as though he Using the district’s content management system to construct thewere no longer imagining students in general, but rather thinking page, she successfully posted her information.concretely about the logistics of his own students’ experiences in On Surveys 1 and 2, and during her first interview, Dianehis classroom during a technology-enriched lesson. Importantly, expressed a consistent, moderate level of comfort with using digitalClyde listed technology integration as ranking in the top half of his technologies. “I’m fairly savvy in using the computer,” she reportedpriorities on Survey 3. in her first interview, “but probably not as much as I would like to be.”P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T T O S U P P O R T T PA C K T E C H N O L O G Y I N T E G R AT I O N 11
  11. 11. With the start of the school year, Diane became the school’s of quiz creation in Moodle, Ellen’s project was more linear andhealth teacher. Her growth in TK and TPK appeared to have devel- structured than it might have been had she decided to create con-oped at a pace tied closely to her professional needs. This new part tent using a wiki or class website. At the same time, Ellenof her job prompted Diane to explore additional technologies. She approached her learning with a mindset of openness to play andbegan to look for online resources to use with her health students, experimentation, stating: “I just need to play around with [Moo-mainly for medical information. Diane also began to use Google dle] a bit and try things out.”Docs to support her reporting tasks and took time to work with Ellen’s university partner also observed that the nature of herindividual students who were diffident about using technology. In Moodle project required her to make decisions straddling techno-the third survey, she reported feeling an increased level of expert- logical and pedagogical considerations, such as whether or not toise in both her level of knowledge and her ability to use techno- configure her Moodle quizzes to give students immediate feed-logical tools. Where previously she had been somewhat tentative back. These decisions, in turn, provided a concrete context forabout her own skills and knowledge, Diane displayed a new confi- Ellen to connect technology with her knowledge of her studentsdence with the tasks she had chosen. (e.g., “Will my kids learn more if they see the correct answer right In her reflections on the August-to-December implementation away or if we discuss it later?”) and to think through the pedagog-phase, Diane reported a marked increase in her comfort level with ical ramifications of her design decisions.the use of technologies. During her second interview, she contin- During Phase 2, Ellen started using her Moodle quizzes withued to regard her ability to share her skills with colleagues as her students in the school’s computer labs. As she did so, she“moderate” but proudly shared her skills with one set of applica- developed facility with making last-minute adjustments to quizzestions: “If I had to pick out one thing that I think that I can do really (to achieve the best possible “fit” between a quiz and the materialwell,” she reported, “that’s with the Google Docs.” she had most recently taught) and also made new discoveries. For example, Ellen found that, in her Moodle teacher account, sheConclusion. Relative to her colleagues, Diane initially took a more could, with “just a couple of clicks,” obtain useful descriptive sta-measured view of technology integration in her work. As time tistics about her students’ performance. With these data, Ellenpassed and she gained experience with new tools and uncovered realized she could deepen her understanding of her students andnew reasons to incorporate them, her skills and comfort with their strengths and weaknesses. For example, knowing how muchtechnology increased. time students took to answer a given question allowed Ellen to seePractitioner comments. After reading her profile, Diane said, “This beyond a student’s numerical score and conclude that “this studentprofile is really accurate in how it portrays me. It captures that I got the right answer, but she really struggled with [the question].”am learning as I go and getting more comfortable all the time. I In this implementation phase, Ellen also took additional steps towould not hesitate to try something new.” integrate technology. She started using her Moodle site for other purposes besides quizzes and adopted Google Docs for writingEllen: Learning Trajectory Profile #5: Climb, Climb instruction and collaborative peer editing. As her technology inte-Ellen’s “Climb, Climb” (C-C) trajectory was the fifth type we gration activity increased, so did the frequency with which she usedobserved. She initially presented herself as having “minimal” knowl- computers for instruction. Ellen estimated that, prior to the PDedge and expertise regarding technology integration; in December, project, she used computer technology in her classroom 1 or 2 daysshe rated her knowledge and expertise as “above average.” Ellen per month; in fall 2010 the frequency increased to 3 or 4 days permade steady and sustained progress with planning and developing month. During the same period, her use of the computer lab alsoher summer project and then, in the fall, with implementing it. She increased from 5 times per semester to between 10–15 times.did not appear to experience significant setbacks or frustrations Throughout the fall semester, Ellen appeared to deepen herduring this phase—the kinds of setbacks and frustrations that may engagement with various aspects of technology integration. Herhave caused her “Climb, Plateau” colleagues to rate their knowledge appreciation of the complexities deepened, as evidenced by theand expertise as unchanged from August to December. fact that her lists of pros and cons for integrating technology more In Phase 1, between May and August, Ellen chose to create a than doubled in length from June to December. On an affectivecourse site for her ELA classes in Moodle (an open-source course level, in December Ellen reported that she felt “more comfort-management platform) with a collection of online quizzes focus- able” and “more confident” regarding technology integration. Asing on grammar, vocabulary, and literary terms. Through well, she stated that:exploratory discussions with her university partner, she identified I’m finding that it’s kind of addicting. The more I learn, theseveral benefits that online quizzes could offer—ranging from the more I’m aware of new things that I’m being exposed to,option of automated scoring to providing students with immedi- and the more I say, “Yeah, I could probably do that.”ate on-screen feedback and suggestions for further study. Over the summer, Ellen tackled this project in piecemeal fash- In terms of professional learning communities, Ellen saw herself asion. Ellen’s learning was shaped by the affordances and constraints increasingly connected to a network of people and conversationsof her chosen technology. Given the inherent step-by-step nature involved with technology integration: “Now [this past semester]12 J O U R N A L O F E D U C AT I O N • V O L U M E 1 9 1 • N U M B E R 2 • 2 0 1 0 / 2 0 1 1
  12. 12. when there’s a problem, someone [at TreeTop] is able to figure it for Frank, TPACK is a comfortable concept in theory, but puttingout. . . . I know who to ask for which problems.” Ellen’s perception technology integration with curriculum into practice presented awas that, at TreeTop Elementary as a whole, there was significant practical challenge that was not surmountable at this time.forward momentum in fall 2010 and that her efforts were coalesc- Conclusion. Frank’s “Climb, Decline” trajectory seems to have beening with those of other teachers around a valuable shared purpose. shaped by a mounting enthusiasm for technology integration andConclusion. Ellen’s C-C trajectory reflects a perception of steady and the limitations of logistical hurdles. At Survey #3, his self-ratedsustained growth in technology integration knowledge and expert- “minimal” knowledge and expertise with technology integrationise over a seven-month period—a perception apparently not altered seemed to be related to the technical challenges of implementa-by the transition from summer planning to fall implementation. tion, rather than to a closed mind or lack of interest.Practitioner comments. After reading the preceding description of the Practitioner comments. After reading the preceding description of theC-C trajectory (in rough draft form), Ellen commented that it was C-D trajectory in rough draft form, Frank commented that it was“accurately written” and that it captured the way “her confidence “pretty accurate.” He said it captured the fact that “Internet issues[has] grown throughout the entire process.” She also commented were very frustrating last summer” and also that, despite not mak-that, “the quote about technology being addicting is also accurate.” ing progress and feeling discouraged he “did get interested [at that time] in other things that [he] had found.” Regarding the implemen-Frank: Learning Trajectory Profile #6: Climb, Decline tation phase, Frank confirmed that technical difficulties causedFrank’s learning trajectory represented a “Climb, Decline” (C-D) frustration, stating: “I was getting frustrated again when it was tak-pattern. At the beginning of the summer Frank regarded his own ing so much time to complete technology-related projects withknowledge of technology and technology integration as “minimal” kids.” Frank also clarified the sources of his summer discourage-and the process of integrating technology into his curriculum and ment: “I was . . . discouraged because I really didn’t know what Iteaching as “very difficult.” During the summer, he planned to wanted to do for my project.” Further, he “got discouraged when itdevelop a system using wikis and video that would give students became evident that it wasn’t going to be what [he] had envisioned.”who had been absent access to course materials outside school.However, Frank did not spend much time working on the project, General Analysis of Learning Trajectories andmostly due to ongoing Internet access problems at his home. Influences That Shaped ThemDespite these difficulties, by the end of Phase 1, Frank indicated In this section we examine commonalities and differences acrossthat he was more motivated to work to integrate technology in his the six profiles as a way to synthesize salient features of the learn-classroom, rated his knowledge of how to do so more highly, and ing trajectories described and the experiences and influences thathad placed his project higher among his various priorities as a shaped them.teacher. This marked the “Climb” portion of his learning trajec- First, it is important to note that four of six trajectoriestory: Frank became more comfortable with the idea of integrating included a time of “plateau.” Only two teachers reported changetechnology into his classroom, less concerned about the basics of in technology integration expertise at every survey (viz., theimplementation, and more focused on how well he would be able “Climb, Climb” and “Climb, Decline” teachers). As detailed in theto execute the integration and on what his students would be able profiles, plateau did not seem to indicate a time of “no learning.”to do. At Survey #3, however, Frank’s learning had been undone. Rather, times of apparent stasis were characterized by a fullerHis responses returned to the levels he reported on Survey #1. knowledge-in-practice (“Climb, Plateau” profile), change in aOnce again Frank estimated his knowledge regarding digital tech- teacher’s self-perception as a technology integrator (“Start Low,nologies and technology integration as “minimal.” He again rated Plateau” profile), a deepening sense of the complexities of tech-the process of integrating technology into curriculum and teach- nology integration (“Start High, Plateau” profile), and a certaining as “difficult,” and the importance of working to do so had fallen openness and curiosity to explore more options for technologyfrom the top half of his list of priorities to the bottom half. integration (“Plateau, Climb” profile). While limited survey responses make it difficult to explain Across profiles, teachers’ initial learning trajectories wereFrank’s C-D’s trajectory, there is some evidence to suggest that the shaped by a multitude of influences and experiences. For everyobserved decline came as a result of experiencing the practical dif- profile, a large number of experiences were reported as relevant,ficulties of integrating technology into his curriculum. For exam- and these experiences were of many kinds. That said, three com-ple, with regard to factors to consider when integrating mon and salient types of experiences and influences that shapedtechnology, on Surveys #1 and #2 he provided a brief list of fairly teachers’ learning trajectories were: a) development of technicalabstract and general factors (e.g., “comfort level using it,” “what to knowledge, b) peer support, and c) logistical constraints.do”). However, by the third survey, Frank’s description of influen- During the PD institute, most teachers reported growth intial factors had become longer and more specific (e.g., “how to technical knowledge and a corresponding expansion of the tech-save/store/grade activity,” “time to teach students the technology,” nologies they used between August and December. Ellen, for“time to implement the activity”). This pattern might suggest that, instance, learned the technical steps to create quiz questions inP R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T T O S U P P O R T T PA C K T E C H N O L O G Y I N T E G R AT I O N 13
  13. 13. Moodle. Diane reported, “being good at” Google Docs. Even their practice; every teacher did not, however, report noticingteachers who did not report growth in technical knowledge cited change in their TPACK expertise, nor was growth in TPACK—experiences with technology as a salient influence in their learning among those who perceived it—always incrementally linear.trajectory. Frank, for example, who struggled with “how to Indeed, only one teacher out of thirteen experienced a linearsave/store/grade [an] activity” and reported technical factors as growth trajectory (“Climb, Climb”).barriers, nonetheless clearly engaged with technology. Results also indicated that all teachers’ initial learning trajecto- Individual teachers also seemed to consistently reference the ries were shaped by a long list of influences and experiences. Asinfluence of colleagues in two distinct ways: a) as supportive described in the preceding profiles, these ranged from the experi-members of their professional learning community and b) as ence of discussing technology integration ideas with colleagues toexamples against whom to compare their own skills. Clyde, for coping with the realization that students may initially know moreinstance, reported knowing less than his colleagues about technol- than their teacher about a particular Web tool, and from feelingogy but attributed their successes to having spent more time “play- reluctant to change curriculum that has worked well in the past toing around”—something that he felt he needed to do. In an feeling motivated to make changes that could increase studentinterview, Betty reported a healthy culture of “competition” at engagement. Quite aside from any determination of their absoluteTreeTop where teachers were at once helping one another to learn or relative importance, the sheer number and diversity of thesenew tools, but also feeling a need to “keep up” with one another. influences and experiences associated with TPACK learning is Finally, several teachers reported logistical factors such as time striking. They lend vivid support to a finding from a number ofand access to technologies as key determinants of their experi- studies of professional development and teacher learning, namely,ences. Frank reported that “time to teach students the technology” that developing new knowledge and skills for classroom applica-and “time to implement the activity” were important factors. tion is a complex, multifaceted endeavor (e.g., Borko, 2004; GaretClyde also cited competing responsibilities and lack of time as lim- et al., 2001). Consistent with the situative perspective describeditations. As noted above, the typical “Climb, Plateau” teacher in the theoretical framework, learning also appeared to be shapedfocused much energy on planning and assembling the necessary at every turn by a large variety of context-specific influences,infrastructure for her project, including scheduling computer lab experiences, and interactions (with students, colleagues, availabletime. Further, many of the technologies that teachers imple- hardware and software, time pressures, etc.), and by the goal ofmented for student instruction required students to have their participating in meaningful socially embedded activities (teachingown e-mail accounts. Once TreeTop secured Gmail accounts for all effectively, collaborating productively with colleagues, etc.).students in the fall, the variety of Web-based tools that teachers Finally, this study offers further support for a finding from sev-used increased (e.g., Prezi, blogs, PhotoPeach, wikis). eral previous studies that developing expertise in technology inte- gration is a time-consuming, long-term process that requiresDISCUSSION commitment and ongoing effort from teachers (Doering, Hughes,Results indicated that, as a group, teachers at TreeTop Elementary & Huffman, 2003; Hughes, Kerr, & Ooms, 2005; Sandholtz,reported a statistically significant increase in their knowledge and Ringstaff, & Dwyer, 1997). At the end of 7 months, even thoseexpertise with technology integration between the start and finish teachers who had objectively done the most technology integra-of the professional development institute. Our further analyses of tion still felt they had much to learn; none described themselves asindividual teachers’ experiences revealed six different initial TPACK experts.TPACK learning trajectories. Eight teachers demonstrated a LIMITATIONS“Climb, Plateau” trajectory. Other trajectories included “StartHigh, Plateau”; “Start Low, Plateau”; “Plateau, Climb”; “Climb, The first limitation pertains to our participants, who self-selectedClimb”; and “Climb, Decline.” The observed variability both within into the PD program and into the study. Therefore, the insights mayeach teacher’s initial TPACK profile and across the six initial not be generalizable to learning trajectories of teachers whoTPACK learning trajectories seems consistent with theories of choose not to participate in a voluntary PD program of this kind.change in strategy selection (Kuhn & Pease, 2010; Siegler, 1996) As well, the learning trajectories described here may differ fromthat emphasize a long-term recursive progression toward expert- those of teachers participating in more heavily scripted PD focusedise—a process that Koehler et al. (2007) have described as “multi- on particular hardware or software, or integrating technology ingenerational.” Though they all worked in the same school, the particular ways. We would also expect that teachers experiencing ateachers began the professional development institute with a) dif- prescriptive PD curriculum with a fixed schedule and uniformferent repertories of skills, b) different attitudes about their abili- learning objectives for all participants might demonstrate less vari-ties, c) different notions of themselves as technology integrators, ety in their trajectories than we observed. Qualitative researchersand (d) different technology integration goals. As they planned and suggest that when we know relatively little about a phenomenon—then implemented their technology integration projects, every as is the case with teachers’ learning trajectories as they move fromteacher developed a deeper understanding of the complex inter- novice to expert technology integrators—exploring a small num-actions of technological, pedagogical and content knowledge in ber of cases to provide rich description and focused analysis is more14 J O U R N A L O F E D U C AT I O N • V O L U M E 1 9 1 • N U M B E R 2 • 2 0 1 0 / 2 0 1 1