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New Technologies and Learning Environments for Teacher Professional Growth. Roy Pea Center for Technology in Learning SRI International NECC Chicago June 27, 2001. Overview. The national context of teacher workforce development and the appearance of for-profits

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new technologies and learning environments for teacher professional growth

New Technologies and Learning Environments for Teacher Professional Growth

Roy Pea

Center for Technology in Learning

SRI International



June 27, 2001

  • The national context of teacher workforce development and the appearance of for-profits
  • “Addressable market” size and issues
  • How to think about the key technological developments
  • Emerging designs for teacher learning environments
  • Closing questions
what is happening to teaching
What is happening to teaching?
  • Huge turnover and new workforce preparation need—2 Million new teachers needed by 2008-2009 (3.1 Mil today)
  • Increasingly accountable, but unprepared for new standards and assessments
  • Weakly-defined professional career path for lifelong learning
  • Yet…emerging higher standards for teaching (NBPTS, INTASC)
  • And rapid growth of alternative certifications
  • Changing roles of post-secondary institutions and the private sector

“There is a national crisis in teacher professional development”

-Glenn Commission, 1999


“U.S. teachers …. have no time to work with or observe other teachers; they experience occasional hit-and-run workshops that are usually unconnected to their work and immediate problems of practice. [Effective TPD cannot] be adequately cultivated without the development of more substantial professional discourse and engagement in communities of practice.” — Darling-Hammond and Ball (NEGP, 1997)

current state of in service tpd
Current state of in-service TPD
  • Teachers continually isolated; rare mentoring
  • Dominant mode of delivery is one-day off site workshops with no follow-up
    • Teaching strategies too rarely linked to content, advances in learning research, standards, or modeled in classroom settings
    • No assessment tools or results orientation
  • Market dominated by fragmented, local non-scaleable solutions
  • Little use of technology
  • No “just-in-time” teacher learning support
  • District level TPD planning or management tools are lacking
addressable market available funds
Addressable Market, Available Funds*
  • $3.7 billion (37% of all in-service TPD funds) available to purchase TPD services**
  • $750 million in teacher expenditures for TPD services**
  • $4.5 billion total addressable market**
  • Growing at 15% per annum**

*Excludes all public high schools and all private, parochial, charter and home schools. Also excludes approximately $6Bil spent on teacher salaries to attend TPD events

**Sources: McKinsey & Co., National Commission of the States, US Department of Education, Merrill Lynch


What key technological developments are catalyzing the changing roles of post-secondary institutions and the private sector in teacher education?







Fourth Wave Internet (Sarnoff Labs)

  • 1960s: First Wave - Fundamental Net protocols
    • Led by government agencies and contractors
    • Driven by computer-to-computer file transfer and messaging
    • Nobody imagined the Net as becoming a mass medium
  • 1980s: Second Wave - Bulletin Boards & Online Services
    • Led by Proprietary Commercial Online Services Ventures
    • Text and crude graphics; driven by access to programs and data from computer hobbyists and serious techno/business users
  • 1990s: Third Wave - WWW (content, community, commerce)
    • Led by Garage Startups and Media Empires - they ran circles around big technology companies and labs
    • Rich text, graphics, images
    • Driven by info hungry business and consumers
    • Race to capture eyeballs and create cyberspace brand identity
  • The Fourth Wave...

Fourth Wave Internet

A multidimensional explosion

Media Richness

3D interactive objects

Audio and video

Text and Graphics

Smart Service

PC connected


Several things connected

Search Engines

Everything connected

Media based searches



Personalized Web View

Process 100s MIPs

Storage GB

Speed Mbps

Personalized Search

Process MIPs

Storage MB

Speed kbps

IT Capacity

key technological developments for teacher learning environments
Key Technological Developments for Teacher Learning Environments
  • Market penetration of low-cost networkable multimedia computers and Internet access
  • Easy-to-use Web Browsers as user interface
  • Streaming media standards, tools
  • Community tools
  • Web hosting and ASP model (Application Service Provider) to improve QOS
  • Personalization (profile-specific features)
  • Integration with “back-office” systems (e.g., authentication, student records, e-commerce)
emerging designs for distributed teacher learning environments
Emerging designs for distributed teacher learning environments
  • Uses of generic course platform “shells” (e.g., Blackboard, WebCT)
  • Special-purpose proprietary course platforms (e.g., Teachscape, Classroom Connect)
  • Use of web-accessible video materials of teaching practices (e.g., Teachscape, Teachstream, PT3 grantees, PBSTeacherLine)
  • Use of on-line community tools for meetings, moderated events (e.g., TAPPED IN, Teachscape, Classroom Connect)
  • On-line course “malls” (e.g., AT&T Learning Network)
benefits of on line tpd services
Benefits of on-line TPD services
  • Convenient, self-paced learning to meet in-service certification requirements (typically 30 hours TPD per year)
  • Access to professional “communities of practice”
  • Ongoing, on-line mentoring with district TPD professionals or faculty
  • Districts may better scale the certification of teachers, at lower cost per teacher than off-site models
addressable market capacity
Addressable Market: Capacity
  • Nearly all teachers use a computer at home and/or at school for professional activities; 2/3rds of public school teachers report using computers or the Internet for classroom instruction.(1)
  • 77% of schools have sufficient bandwidth to access on-line services with 128kbs or better connectivity.(4)
  • 61% of school computers have processors able to support streaming media today.(2)
  • 80% of all teachers have computers at home(3)
  • 59% of all teachers have Internet connections at home.(3)
  • 66% of all U.S. teachers received up to 8 hours of basic technology training last year(2)

(1) U.S. Department of Education, NCES, “Teacher Use of Computers and the Internet in Public Schools,” April 2000.

(2) Market Data Retrieval, 1999.

(3) Center for Research on Information Technology & Organizations, UC Irvine, November 1999.

(4) U.S. Department of Education, NCES, “Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2000,” May 2001.

as an example

As an example


A new approach to teacher professional development

  • A scaleable, Web-based, teacher professional development system that offers teachers “just-in-time” access to annotated video cases and distributed learning courses, linking pedagogy to content, while also providing tools for school administrators to plan and manage professional development
  • A company based in New York with partners including AFT, NBPTS, Intel, SRI International, ABC News
  • Focused efforts to bring learning sciences and educational research as well as practical knowledge on teacher communities into Teachscape’s products and services
approach for tpd
Approach for TPD
  • Video case studies of research-informed and standards-based teaching strategies in literacy, math, and science
    • Annotated with teacher reflections, expert commentaries
    • Embedded assessment activities with rubrics
    • Structured community discussion around case materials
  • Distributed learning courses built up from collections of video case studies from digital library -- for use in schools and at home
  • Partner with districts to develop plans to meet distinctive needs of their schools and teachers and build PD capacity with existing staff
  • Supported by on-site and on-line mentoring by participating districts
  • Supported by on-line communities of practitioners -- enabling peer-peer collaboration and continuous feedback for “teacher reflection on practice”
  • Teachers can earn CEUs, academic credits
living cases
“Living Cases”
  • Visible models: A video-based narrativeaccount of how one or more teachers experienced a problem, the strategy used to deal with it, and the outcomes
  • Principles underlying the teachers’ practices
  • Guided practice: Guidance in reflective use comparing cases to experience is instrumental to changing teaching practices.
  • Reflective community: Cases created as fertile soil for reflective community dialog, elaboration, multiple interpretations-- not as sterile packages of inert ‘wisdom.’ They extend the published case-and-commentary model with on-line commentary, dialog.

Augmenting collective intelligence for teacher learning using interactive video case studies with community

Research-based teaching practices

Standards-based curriculum



expertise in


video cases

Add “Gems” from community discourse

Exemplary teachers and practice artefacts

Use with on-line community

School-site use

Case-based learning theory

Establish and

refine models

of case use

Documentary film-making

Embedded assessments

Expert commentaries

opportunities and questions for schools of education
Opportunities and questions for schools of education
  • Opportunities:
    • Scaleup your best teacher programs in partnership with for-profits
    • Use digital assets of for-profits in new on-line courses that augment your teacher programs
    • Create state or regional alliances between post-secondary institutions and for-profits
    • Procure federal grants for experimental programs with for-profit partners
  • Questions
    • Can you go it alone and “do it yourself?”
    • What are business models for public-private engagement?
    • Quality review issues in designing and reviewing courses, and commitment to research and evaluation
can you do it yourself
Can you “do it yourself”?
  • Caution is due: It’s more than a website
  • Scaleability of web-based TPD services
  • Costs of course production are significant and need many users to amortize costs
  • Faculty challenges: authoring tools and interests
  • New talents: for running online community services
  • Maintenance and upgrade: of web platforms, browsers, media servers
  • Authentication and security
  • Technical support and quality of service (QOS)
business model possibilities
Business model possibilities
  • Sharing of costs and revenues relating to the production, distribution and sale of on-line courses
  • Payment of a royalty to your university on revenues generated by the co-developed courses
  • University can negotiate for warrants to purchase equity in shares of its for-profit partner
  • A convergence is underway between traditional on-site teacher education programs and on-line teacher professional development services
  • New media web-based publishing enables broad access to research-based teaching practices, and community tools make new learning networks possible
  • Complementary strengths of public and private sector may be highly leveraged for improving teacher learning and professional growth
  • What will be the most effective “use models” for on-line TPD services?
  • What is needed to support teachers documenting and reflecting on their own practices routinely, on-site and on-line, as recommended by NBPTS?
  • What are appropriate forms of formative and summative assessment of “what’s working” in uses of on-line TPD services?