The Digital Story: Designing Professional Development in Technology Integration for Teachers

Berta Hayes Capo

Abstract


A series of three professional development lessons were produced to teach high school teachers how to create their own content specific digital stories for use in their classroom instruction. A systems design method was employed to design the original lesson and also to design the final three lessons. The teachers were local high school teachers of one South Florida high school. The design approach for the lessons was grounded in activity theory. According to a description of activity theory by Jonassen, Tessmer, and Hannum (1999) the subjects use tools to transform objects in order to reach a learning outcome.  School leadership and representative teachers expressed a need for technology integration in classroom instruction.  Important shortcomings of the original lesson design were that adult learning theory was overlooked. Additionally, the main goal of the lesson was sacrificed to accommodate time constraints, and some of the images provided to complete the lesson contained the wrong aspect ratio. Adults require “self-direction” (Knowles, 1998), and the original lesson design afforded the participating adults little control over the construction process of their digital story. These shortcomings resulted in a need for a redesign of the lesson into three lessons. Furthermore, the final product became a series of three print-based lessons, to be distributed via compact disc to teachers for the upcoming school year.


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