Technology Integration Enhancing Science: Things Take Time Revisited
Science Educator Volume 16, Number 2, ISSN 1094-3277
Project TIES (Technology Integration Enhancing Science), a four-year K-8 Technology Literacy Challenge project, combined technology as a tool for teaching and learning with earth and environmental science education. This project provided teachers in two North Carolina school systems with professional development as well as technology equipment and materials during the project years, 1998-2002. These resources enabled teachers to make the transition from traditional classroom methodologies to the use of technology as an imbedded and integral part of teaching and learning. In the TIES project, teachers participated in professional development involving science content, the inquiry process, student-centered projects, and the use of technology as a tool for teaching and learning. Over the course of the project, many TIES teachers assumed leadership roles within their school systems and in state professional organizations, thereby assuring that the expertise and leadership needed to sustain the project for four years resided within the school. One of the goals of the project was to sustain the appropriate use of technologies in classrooms after the project was terminated. The authors were interested in whether the leadership had remained in place and whether these teacher leaders had been able to maintain their gains four years after funding for the project ended. The authors visited the school systems in the original project ending in 2002 again in 2006 to see if this goal of sustainability of the project had been met as well as to see what changes may have occurred in the use of technologies in classrooms since the completion of their original work. A continuing part of the project was the attainment of assured sustainability for the model. This priority was accomplished by way of five strategies. First, TIES implemented a process of collaborative team efforts utilizing the leadership of experienced TIES teachers. Year-1 and Year-2 teachers became mentors for teachers who entered the project in Year 3. Second, experienced teachers assumed leadership roles as they participated in providing professional development sessions in Years 3 and 4. Third, the technology equipment was housed in teachers' classrooms. Fourth, teams of TIES teachers disseminated knowledge gained and lessons learned from the project as they presented TIES at science and technology conferences and at parent and faculty meetings. Finally, participating schools included TIES in their school-based budgets. This article revisits the success of these five long-term sustainability strategies four years after completion of the funding phase of the project.
Shane, P.M. & Wojnowski, B.S. (2007). Technology Integration Enhancing Science: Things Take Time Revisited. Science Educator, 16(2), 51-57.